CEBU CITY, PHILIPPINES – The Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) reported that several shipping operators have already signified their interest to serve 7 out of the 19 Roll-on / Roll-off (RoRo) missionary routes during the House Committee on Transportation’s Oversight Committee Hearing on the RoRo System held in Cebu City on Monday, 18 February 2019.

These routes include the following:

1. Batangas City – San Jose, Occidental Mindoro – Coron, Palawan
2. Lucena, Quezon – Odiongan, Romblon – Caticlan/New Washington
3. Lucena, Quezon – Romblon, Romblon
4. Lucena, Quezon – Masbate City-Calbayog, Northern Samar
5. Maasin, Southern Leyte – Ubay, Bohol
6. San Andres, Quezon – San Pascual, Masbate- Pasacai, Masbate
7. Taytay, Palawan – Cuyo, Palawan

MARINA Officer-in-Charge Vice Admiral Narciso Vingson Jr encouraged shipping companies to consider deploying their ships to the other 12 RoRo missionary routes to further enhance the connectivity of the Philippine islands, a direct complement to Program 1 of the 10-Year Maritime Industry Development Plan (MID) which is to upgrade the domestic shipping in support of the Nautical Highway Development.

The other 12 RoRo missionary routes opened for prospective shipping operators include the following:

1. Basco, Batanes – Currimao, Ilocos Norte
2. San Juan, Batangas – Abra de Ilog, Occidental Mindoro
3. Real, Quezon – Polillo Island, Quezon
4. Pantao, Albay – San Pascual, Masbate
5. Calbayog City, Samar – Cataingan, Masbate
6. Cuyo, Palawan – San Jose de Buenavista, Antique
7. Oslob, Cebu – Dumaguete, Negros Oriental
8. Punta Engano, Mactan Island, Cebu – Jetafe, Bohol
9. Poro, Camotes, Cebu – Isabel, Leyte
10. Lipata, Surigao del Norte – Dapa, Surigao del Norte
11. Siaton, Negros Oriental – Dipolog City
12. Lucena, Quezon – Buyabod, Marinduque

Furthermore, the MARINA informed the Oversight Committee on the RoRo System that all RoRo routes covering the three nautical highways, Eastern Nautical Highway, Central Nautical Highway, and the Western Nautical Highway, have now been fully served.

The MARINA declared 19 missionary routes on 31 January 2019 to further connect various islands between the Central Nautical Highway to the Eastern Nautical Highway or from the Western Nautical Highway to the Central Nautical Highway. These missionary routes are part of the remaining 109 lateral routes that need to be served, considering the availability of RoRo-capable ports.

Shipping companies are also encouraged to propose new missionary routes in addition to the above list that can be developed.

The shipping company that will serve a missionary route shall enjoy protection of investment for five years and 50 percent discount on the regular fees of all applications and renewal of ship documents, licenses, certificates, and permits.

House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo lauded the MARINA for its swift action to hasten the declaration of missionary routes for the promotion of the Strong Republic Nautical Highway System (SRNHS).