Home » Maritime » More funds offered to ro-ro operators

THE government is allocating P2.04 billion to acquire 24 vessels for lease or sale to roll on-roll off (ro-ro) vessel operators.

The amount is 200% higher than what was set aside last year. It will be released through the NDC-Maritime Leasing Corp (NMLC).

Under the program, ro-ro operators availing of vessels 15 years or younger which will serve missionary routes will receive a five-year exclusive right to such routes.

Last year, NMLC had difficulty marketing its program due to limited funds until the Development Bank of the Philippines, which also offers ro-ro loans under its Sustainable Logistics Development Program, acquired NMLC.

At present, there are 92 ro-ro-capable ports, with more expected within the year.

A total of 68 ro-ro routes are being served by 49 shipping companies operating more than 250 ships.

In a presentation during the recent Strong Republic Nautical Highway conference in Cagayan de Oro City attended by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, NMLC president Agustin Bengzon said the ro-ro sector offered big investment opportunities.

NMLC offers a 5% fixed interest rate for loans covering vessels plying missionary routes and 10% for commercial routes.

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