PPA shores up Mindanao tourism and transport highway
Davao City (1 October) -- To manifest its commitment towards a proactive maritime transport, the Philippine Ports Authority Port District Office-Southern Mindanao (PPA PDO-SoMin) took part in the Mindanao Tourism and Transport Expo (MTTE) and the Mindanao Tourism and Transport Highway (MTTH) Map inauguration held at the Davao Convention Center here on August 20-22, 2008.
No less than the Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Hon. Ace Durano personally graced the unveiling of the MTTH Map highlighting the interface of air, road and sea transport links to boost the tourism industry, particularly in the Mindanao leg. Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Undersecretary Hon. Guiling Mamondiong came to represent DOTC Secretary Leandro Mendoza. Undersecretary Mamondiong is the newly-appointed Area Development Officer for Mindanao Regions IX, X, XI and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
"PPA remains supportive of tourism-based initiatives since these complement the growth of the domestic ports and the development of inter-island trade," SoMin Port District Manager Abdussabor Sawadjaan, who also spearheads this year's DOTC Regional Management Council (RMC) in the Davao Region-XI expressed during the event.
A joint effort among the two national government agencies, the MTTE converged in one venue an avalanche of options for both local and foreign travelers desiring to discover the treasures of the Mindanao Island. Among the exhibits featured per region are the inland eco-tourism park destinations, historical sightseeing, mountaineering, spelunking, extreme sports, adventure hiking and water-based activities such as swimming, diving, rafting, surfing or wakeboarding, among others.
PPA, together with the DOTC line agencies for the transport sector: 1) Air – Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), 2) Road – Land Transportation Office (LTO) and Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), and 3) Sea - Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) and Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) jointly hosted a booth-cum-kiosk where the public can visit and obtain information on respective services and usage of facilities during the three-day MTTE event for free. There were about 53 other indoor exhibitors, 13 located outdoors and six Pasalubong Showcase booths at the lobby of the venue.
Said tourist drawers from Region I to XII including the autonomous regions, namely, the Cordillera Administrative Region, National Capital Region and the ARMM have been linked up through the Strong Republic Nautical Highway (SRNH) flagship program of the President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo earlier launched in 2003. The SRNH are composed of the three main seaboards: Central, Eastern and Western which provide the proper connectivity of the Luzon Island to the rest of the Visayas and Mindanao Islands, and vice versa routes with an average travel time of only four hours between links.
The MTTH Map launch also brings to the fore PPA's direct involvement in developing the Road Roll-On Roll Off (Ro-Ro) Terminal System (RRTS) facilities which encourages both the public and private sectors to participate in providing inter-island transport systems which are also dubbed as lateral links of the SRNH. RRTS' ultimate aim is to significantly bring down the cost of transport and reduce travel time of either goods or and passengers within the Philippine archipelago.
Ro-Ro port operations is governed by PPA-prescribed uniform rates known as the SRNH Terminal Fee based on Vehicle Types starting at PhP 65.00 (Type I), PhP 129.00 (Type II), PhP 258.00 (Type III) and PhP 516.00 (Type IV). These rates are inclusive of charge for the use of port facilities and services and shall be collected at the port of loading or embarkation, hence, no other fees or charges shall be collected at the port of discharge or debarkation.
In the Davao Region, the PPA has already developed Ro-Ro capable ports such as Babak in Samal Island (Davao del Norte), Banay-Banay, Mati and San Isidro (Davao Oriental) and Maco (Compostela Valley or ComVal). Likewise, this year, Ro-Ro infrastructure development projects strategically linking the north of Samal Island, particularly Barangay Tagpopongan and the adjoining town of Pantukan, ComVal are now up for bidding and are estimated to be completed by mid 2010. (PPA SoMin) [top]