DOTr Seeks PHP 1.4 Billion for Planned RoRo Expansion
Expanding and upgrading RoRo ports will help improve trade and cargo transport in the country. But for this to happen, the government will need funds.
There are currently 14 roll-on, roll-off (RoRo) ports in the country that allow fast and efficient loading of transport vessels. The Department of Transportation (DOTr) is planning to upgrade and expand all of them. But in order to do that, the department needs a minimum of PHP 1.4 billion.
RoRo ports facilitate the loading of RoRo vessels, such as ferries that transport cars and motorcycles or cargo ships that transport trucks. In effect, RoRo ports extend highways over the sea and interconnect islands. Commonly, ports use a crane for lift-on lift-off (LoLo) vessels.
According to DOTr Assistant Secretary Julius Yano, each port will require PHP 100 million to finance the upgrades. He says that the department is already looking for financing partners as well as technical consultants.
The Nautical Highways of the Philippines
The DOTr Assistant Secretary notes that the government is planning to promote and maximize the use of the country’s nautical highways as this contributes positively to inter-island connectivity.
To date, the country has a total of three nautical highways. The first is known as the Western Nautical Highway, which crosses 10 ports. This nautical highway starts in Batangas City, Batangas, and ends in Dapitan, Zamboanga del Norte.
The second is the Central Nautical Highway, which starts in Pilar, Sorsogon, and ends in Balingoan, Misamis Oriental. This nautical highway crosses 10 ports. The last is the Eastern Nautical Highway, which connects Matnog, Sorsogon to Lipata, Surigao del Norte.
The report also notes that the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) is currently working on an additional 19 port projects. The agency is hoping to deliver these projects within the year.
How This Affects Businesses in the Country
The country’s RoRo ports provide mobility between islands. Given that air travel and transport can be costly, RoRo ports offer a more affordable alternative.
Moreover, RoRo ports and a network of nautical highways collectively contribute significantly to trade, shipping, and even tourism. Improving the ports will benefit all three, as upgraded and expanded ports will result in efficient transport for more people and greater volumes of cargo.