The Philippines and Indonesia are looking to resume suspended air and roll on-roll off services
The reactivation of direct Davao-Manado flights is eyed along with the start of Manado-Manila flights
The reopening of roll-on, roll-off services between Bitung in Indonesia and General Santos City and Davao in the Philippines is likewise being mulled
The Philippines and Indonesia are eyeing expanded air and sea connectivity by resuming suspended air and roll-on, roll-off (roro) services, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said in a statement.
At the sidelines of the recent 43rd ASEAN Leaders’ Summit in Jakarta, Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista and Indonesian Transport Minister Budi K. Sumadi discussed the reactivation of direct Davao-Manado flights and the possible start of Manado-Manila flights.
The reopening of roro services between Bitung in Indonesia and General Santos City and Davao in the Philippines was also tackled, as were other issues such as railways, e-vehicles, and the development of the Indonesian new capital city Nusantara.
Direct Davao-Manado flights, revived in 2019, were suspended due to travel restrictions worldwide brought on by COVID-19.
With restrictions lifted, officials from both countries want to revive the route to support recovery of the travel industry.
In 2022, Indonesian Minister of Law and Human Rights Yasonna Laoly had pushed for the resumption of scheduled services between Davao and Manado.
Bautista and Sumadi also committed to conducting further meetings and made plans to enter into a memorandum of understanding on maritime professionals training.
The agreement would enable Manila and Jakarta to share best practices in educating their maritime students.
Bautista said the MOU could “serve as an avenue” for the Philippines to highlight its expertise in the maritime field.
The Philippines is the world’s leading supplier of seafarers.
The Philippines and Indonesia are part of the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA), a subgrouping under ASEAN. BIMP-EAGA seeks to promote trade and investments among its members through the opening of air and shipping routes.
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