Arroyo administration builds 39 RORO ports; 12 more in pipeline
Manila (30 July) -- The Arroyo administration will leave a total of 51 RORO ports as part of its legacy when it finally leaves office in 2010.
In her 2008 State-of-the-Nation Address (SONA) Monday, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo reported that apart from the 39 RORO ports built by her administration, a dozen new roll-on, roll-off (RORO) ports "are slated to start (construction) within the next two years."
"We have built 39 RORO ports during our administration, 12 more are slated to start within the next two years," said the President who inaugurated five years ago in 2003 the Western Nautical Highway (WNH) from Batangas through Mindoro, Panay and Negros to Mindanao.
"This year, we launched the Central Nautical Highway (CNH) from Bicol mainland, through Masbate, Cebu, Bohol and Camiguin to Mindanao mainland," added President Arroyo.
Saying that "these developments strengthen our competitiveness," President Arroyo enthused that "RORO boats carried 33 million metric tons of cargo and 31 million passengers in 2007" alone.
The President further enthused that because of the RORO, "leading multinational company, Nestle, cut transport costs and offset higher milk prices abroad."
Also, "transport costs have become so reasonable for bakeries like Gardenia -- a loaf of its bread in Iloilo is priced the same as in Laguna and Manila. Salamat muli sa RORO."
Intent on lowering the transport cost of goods produced in the countryside and which are brought to the markets in the metropolitan areas, the Chief Executive also thanked "the many LGUs (local government units) who have stopped collecting fees from cargo vehicles."
Aside from the nautical highways, the President also reported that P6 billion has been released for farm-to-market roads, and that her government is now "repaving airports that are useful for agriculture, like Zamboanga City Airport." (PIA-MMIO) [top]