THE reform-oriented Duterte administration would do well now to revive and expand the Roll-On-Roll-Off (RORO) transport system considering its importance to travel, trade and tourism.
Designed to carry rolling stock cargo that does not require cranes for loading, the transport system was launched during the incumbency of President Gloria M. Macapagal-Arroyo (GMA) in 2003.
Now Speaker of the House of Representatives, GMA managed to construct vital RORO routes from Luzon to Mindanao, where government troops have been fighting armed groups for decades.
Unfortunately, however, President Benigno S. Aquino III canceled most of the RORO projects approved during the Arroyo administration, drawing the ire of various sectors of Philippine society.
“We built many RORO ports all over the country… and I was so sad to hear a few years ago that the administration after mine discontinued the rest of the RORO port projects,” Speaker Arroyo lamented.
The system is part of the 919-kilometer Strong Republic Nautical Highway that connects the major islands of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao through a network of highway and vehicular ferry routes.
Even the poor, particularly the jobless and underemployed, lamented what happened to one of the favorite projects of the lady House Speaker from Lubao, Pampanga and Binalonan, Pangasinan.
When Duterte, the first Mindanaoan to occupy the top political post of the land, assumed the presidency on June 30, 2016, he decided to revitalize GMA’s RORO transport system.
Without doubt, the revival and expansion of the RORO transport system will ensure the fast and economical movement of goods and people and boost domestic tourism and trade.
Thus, GMA deserves the support of the Filipino people as she calls on concerned government authorities to consider the many pluses of constructing more RORO ports across the country.