Thursday, 16 April 2009

Philippines launches Eastern Seaboard portion of RORO Highway


SURIGAO CITY (PND) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo launched the eastern seaboard portion of her Strong Republic National Highway (SRNH) in festive ceremonies held this morning at the Verano Port here.

Joining the President in the historic occasion were Transportaion Secretary Leandro Mendoza, Transportation Undersecretary for Maritime Transport Thompson Lantion, Public Works Secretary Hermogenes Ebdane, Land Transportation and Franchise Regulatory Board (LTFRB) chief Alberto Suansing and local executives of the province led by Surigao City Mayor Alfonso Cassura.

The President and her entourage arrived here on board the Presidential yacht BRP Pag-asa at around 9:50 a.m. amid loud drumbeats, dancing and cheers from the residents and constituents of the province who came to welcome the Chief Executive.

Upon her arrival, the President was briefed by Mendoza on the salient features of the newly-upgraded Verano port after which she unveiled the project’s marker to signal the formal opening of the port to commercial and public operations.

The "enhanced leg" of the oldest roll-on/roll-off (Ro-Ro) route comprises 919 kilometers of land route and 137 nautical miles of the SRNH Eastern Seaboard trunkline.

The decision to launch a new alternate route in the Eastern Seaboard route was made during the President’s Cabinet meeting in May last year on board a Ro-Ro vessel from Jagna Port in Bohol to Mambajao in Camiguin, which forms part of the SRNH Central Seaboard trunkline.

The new Eastern Seaboard route starts from Pilar, Sorsogon and runs through Masbate City and Esperanza town in Masbate, traverses Naval and Maripipi towns in Biliran province, San Ricardo in Southern Leyte and ends in Lipata, Surigao City in Surigao del Norte.

The old route, which forms part of the Maharlika Highway, also known as the Pan-Pacific National Highway, was constructed during the time of then President Ferdinand Marcos.

The oldest Ro-Ro highway, the Maharlika was the first highway that connected Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. This portion of the Ro-Ro highway starts from Matnog in Sorsogon, passes through Allen and Dapdap in Northern Samar, Liloan in Leyte and Lipata in Surigao.

The Maharlika Highway link is expected to be further enhanced with the launching of the new Eastern Nautical Highway. The linkup of the two highway systems is expected to further spur trade and commerce between and among the islands not covered by the old Maharlika Highway.

With this new Ro-Ro facility, shipments to and from the province are no longer off-loaded for re-transporting, thereby reducing cargo-handling time and stevedoring costs and, consequently, ensuring better quality and lower prices of goods.

The SRNH eastern seaboard portion joins two other operational SRNH routes: the Western and Central routes.

The SRNH western seaboard portion, which was launched in March 2003, starts from Batangas down to Zamboanga del Norte.

The sea linkages of the first Ro-Ro route include Batangas, Calapan and Roxas in Oriental Mindoro, Caticlan in Aklan, Iloilo to Bacolod and Dumaguete and finally Dapitan.

The Central, or the second Ro-Ro route which was lauched three months after the first one in June 2003, covers the cities of Cagayan de Oro, Dumaguete and Manila.

This "long-haul" route begins with separate land segments from Davao, a leading fruit producer; General Santos, which is noted for its corn and tuna products, and passes through Bukidnon, the livestock and salad bowl of Mindanao.

The 30-hour sea voyage starts from Cagayan de Oro City thence to the Visayas through Dumaguete and continues on to Southern Luzon and Bicol through Batangas City and finally ends in the port of Manila.


PGMA inaugurates two new RoRo ports in Eastern Visayas

LILOAN, Southern Leyte (PND) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo today inaugurated two new roll-on/roll-off (Ro-Ro) ports in Eastern Visayas that form part of her Strong Republic Nautical Highway (SRNH), her legacy project linking the country's islands and aimed to spur development in the countryside.

The new Ro-Ro ports -- the P71.63-million San Ricardo Port in Southern Leyte and the P55.98-million Naval Port in Biliran are expected to further enhance economic activities, not only in Eastern Visayas but the entire Visayas, as well as travel and exchange of goods between Mindanao and the Visayas.

From Surigao City, where she formally opened the enhanced Eastern Seaboard of the 919-km. and 137-nautical mile SRNH with the inauguration of the Surigao Ro-Ro port, the President boarded the Ocean King II Ro-Ro vessel enroute to San Ricardo in Southern Leyte's southernmost tip, cruising for one-and-a half hours the Strait of Surigao and Sogod Bay.

At the San Ricardo Port, the President and her party boarded the Bachelor Tours bus that boarded the Ro-Ro vessel from Surigao City.

They were welcomed by Southern Leyte's provincial officials led by Gov. Damian Mercado and the residents carrying posters and streamers expressing their gratitude to President Arroyo for the various infrastructure projects in their province, including the new Ro-Ro port.

The San Ricardo Port Improvement Project involved the construction of a 12x24-meter reinforced concrete pier and a 9x11-meter Ro-Ro ramp.

The project also includes the rehabilitation and expansion of the 2,366-square meter back area as well as the construction of a one-storey passenger terminal building with a capacity of 150 passengers.

On the other hand, the Naval Port entailed the rehabilitation of its 11x9-meter reinforced concrete Ro-Ro ramp. The port has a berth length of 210 meters, a working area of 2,050 square meters and a stacking area of 1,904 square meters.

The President also inspected the San Ricardo-Liloan road and the Liloan-Silago-Abuyog Road which are vital links to the ports of San Ricardo and Liloan, both in Southern Leyte province.

From the Liloan Port, the President a black Bell-365 helicopter to Naval, Biliran.

In Naval, Biliran, the President also toured the terminal building before sending off the Marine Ro-Ro vessel for the trip to Catangian Port in Masbate province.

The SRNH is one of the legacy projects of President Arroyo. Aside from further enhancing passenger traffic and public access to tourism areas in the country, it also offers an alternative and cheaper means and route for transporting goods from Mindanao to Luzon.

The SRNH has three major routes – the Western Seaboard route, the Central Nautical Highway and the Eastern Seaboard route. It is a land-sea linked aimed at linking provinces in Luzon to their counterparts in Mindanao through the Visayas, and spur countrywide economic development.

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