Home » Maritime » Development of 15 sea routes to BIMP-EAGA eyed

THE Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) is pushing for the development of 15 sea routes linking the Philippines to the BIMP-EAGA (Brunei Darussalam- Indonesia- Malaysia-Philippines East Asian Growth Area).

According to MARINA administrator Vicente T. Suazo, Jr., there are substantial trade and tourism opportunities for the country through these links, which directly connects Mindanao and Palawan to the rest of the region. These links, including the Zamboanga-Sandakan route, are being served by Indonesian and Philippine- flagged vessels.

The General Santos-Bintung link has a direct containerized service offered by Indonesian-flagged vessel M/V Rimba Tujuh. “The frequency of shipcall is every ten days and is expected to increase in the near future,” Suazo said. Data from MARINA shows that from 1995 to 2000, there was an average growth of 18.6% for inbound passenger and 24.6% for outbound passengers; and 28.75% for inbound cargoes for 2002 and 2003.

Suazo said the maritime agency is active in discussions of key maritime issues in multilateral regional organizations to sustain the Philippine’s active stance. Incentives are also being extended through bilateral arrangements, the most recent of which is the adoption of a uniform port tariff by the Philippines and Indonesia.

BIMP-EAGA covers 16 focus areas such as the entire Sultanate of Brunei Darussalam and the less developed regions of Irian, Jaya, Maluku and all provinces of Kalimantan and Sulawesi in Indonesia, the states of Sabah and Sarawak and the Federal Territory of Lubuan in Malaysia and Minadanao and Palawan in the Philippines.

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