New missionary route between Matnog and Calbayog, Samar opens

0
493
New missionary route between Matnog and Calbayog, Samar opens
LCT Poseidon 41 photo from the Philippine Ports Authority.
  • A new missionary route linking Matnog port in Sorsogon to Calbayog City in Samar has commenced operations
  • LCT Poseidon 41, operated by ALD Sea Transport, embarked on its maiden call at Matnog port on February 1
  • The vessel, dedicated to servicing trucks only, is operating under a special permit from the Maritime Industry Authority
  • The expansion is in response to the efforts of PPA officials to increase routes and vessels serving Matnog port, connecting Luzon to the Visayas and Mindanao, with a focus on improving efficiency and addressing congestion challenges

A new missionary route linking Matnog port in Sorsogon to Maguino-o port in Calbayog City, Samar, has officially commenced operations, the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) announced.

The route is being serviced by two landing craft types (LCT), the first of which, Poseidon 41, undertook the maiden voyage before end-January and docked at Matnog port on February 1. The PPA issued an advisory detailing the initiation of this service.

Operated by ALD Sea Transport, both vessels are exclusively dedicated for truck transportation.

ALD Sea Transport was granted temporary permission—under a special permit from the Maritime Industry Authority-Region 8—to operate on the missionary route between Matnog port and Maguino-o port from January 28 to February 27, 2024. The company’s application for a Certificate of Public Convenience for the route is pending approval.

With the two additional LCTs from ALD Sea Transport, Matnog port now boasts a fleet of 15 roll-on/roll-off (ro-ro) vessels.

According to PPA, the introduction of this new route is in direct response to the request from PPA general manager Jay Daniel Santiago and the efforts of PPA Port Management Office-Bicol Port Manager Magnolia Sinson-Requejo. Both officials advocated for the expansion of routes and vessels serving Matnog port.

The port—historically connected solely to Northern Samar until the opening of a missionary route to Bogo, Cebu in 2021—has seen a surge in maritime connectivity. Alongside ALD Sea Transport, six other shipping companies operate at the port: Archipelago Philippine Ferries Corp., Montenegro Shipping Lines, Inc., Santa Clara Shipping Corp., Peñafrancia Shipping Corp., GT Express, and Lite Shipping Corp.

Matnog port serves as a crucial gateway from Luzon to the Visayas and Mindanao, facilitating Ro-Ro vessels and catering to passenger needs. However, the port has grappled with persistent congestion and truck queuing, particularly during peak travel periods such as holidays.

Addressing the challenges faced by Matnog port, the PPA recently awarded the contract for the expansion of the Sorsogon Ro-Ro Terminal to Khan Kon Chi Construction and Development Corp.

READ: Khan Kon Chi secures contract for Sorsogon Ro-Ro terminal expansion

The project, according to Transportation Assistant Secretary for Maritime Atty. Julius Yano, aims to rectify the existing imbalance in ramp infrastructure between Sorsogon and Samar ports. Matnog port currently features eight ramps, while the Samar side collectively offers 13 ramps across four ports.

READ: Perks await local carriers plying missionary RoRo routes