Home » Maritime » New Central Nautical Highway to develop Masbate

The new link to the Strong Republic Nautical Highway (SRNH) will open up the market of Masbate to the rest of Visayas and other nearby provinces, according to the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA).

The livestock-rich and agricultural province will be connected through the Central Nautical Highway recently identified by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. The new stem of the SRNH was included in PPA’s priority projects and presented to the Department of Transportation and Communications.

The highway will run from Balingoan, Misamis Oriental to Guinsiliban, Camiguin to Mambajao (Balbagon), Camiguin to Jagna, Bohol, land travel to Tubigon, Bohol, to Cebu City, then via land to Bogo, then to Placer, Masbate to Aroroy, and finally, to Donsol (Pilar), Sorsogon.

PPA assistant general manager for Special Projects and Corporate Affairs Raul T. Santos said all ports in the area are ready. There are already a number of small operators in the traditional links, he added.

“We could say there is already existing trade in the area. It is just a matter of developing the frequency [of shipcalls] to develop this trade,” he pointed out.

He said the port agency is looking at areas for improvement in the Masbate ports such as expansion of berthing areas and construction of additional roll-on/roll-off (ro-ro) ramps.

Santos said the Masbate local government has suggested the use of Esperanza, instead of Placer or Cataingan, as link to the highway. “We are already studying the viability of the area,” he added.

Earlier PPA general manager Oscar M. Sevilla said the project is expected to commence early next year.

At present, 71 ro-ro links are distributed in six ro-ro phases: the Pan-Philippine Highway Ferry Terminals or the Eastern Seaboard Link; the Western Seaboard Link; the Mindoro-Marinduque-Romblon-Palawan Ro-ro System; Trans-Visayas Ro-Ro System; Southwestern Ro-Ro System; and the Northeastern Ro-Ro Transport System.

The three main component routes under the SRNH, on the other hand, are Eastern Nautical Highway, Central Nautical Highway and the Western Nautical Highway.

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