Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (GMA) urged the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to revise its plan to develop a Roll-On, Roll-Off (RoRo) transportation system, during the House of Representatives Committee on Transportation oversight committee meeting, which aimed to determine how the government can improve the country’s RoRo system.
Speaker Arroyo ascertained that most of the proposed routes were already operational under the DOTr’s Maritime Industry Development Plan (MIDP). For instance, she said that most of the 30 proposed routes are either an existing port facilities or being served by shipping lines in nearby ports.
Cited example was the proposed Jagna, Camiguin to Cagayan de Oro route by the DOTr which is already being serviced by a shipping line.
During the hearing, Arroyo recommended to DOTr to give missionary routes to shipping lines to address the problem of unserved ports due to lack of operators. A missionary route is an incentive given to a shipping line to service a new route exclusively for five (5) years.
The RoRo transport system was one of GMA Administration’s priority programs to ensure fast and economical movement of goods and people, and to boost domestic tourism and trade.
During the said administration in 2003, 49 RoRo routes from Luzon to Mindanao were established. However, most of the RoRo projects approved during that time were cancelled by the Aquino Administration.
The administration of President Rodrigo Duterte has decided to revive the RoRo system citing it importance to trade and tourism. Today, there are a total 140 RoRo routes all over the country cutting travel time, promoting tourism and increasing trade.