The maiden voyage of the Davao-GenSan-Bitung Roll on-Roll off (Ro-Ro) Service will highlight the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines-East Asean Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) Senior Officials meeting in Davao City in April.

Department of Trade and Industry in Region 11 (DTI-11) provincial head for Davao del Norte Romeo Castanaga, who is the country head of BIMP-EAGA SME working group, said they are pushing the opening of the Davao-General Santos-Bitung route with the President Rodrigo Duterte and President Joko Widodo of Indonesia leading the ceremony.

Castanaga said everything is being finalized including the registration of vessels in time for the first voyage in April 2017.

Castanaga did not give further details on the preparations for the launch but he said the Ro-Ro service is part of the connectivity project within the EAGA region.

He said that the sea linkage will ease transport of goods and other cargoes between member-countries through the international ports in Davao at Sasa, the General Santos International Port and the Bitung International Port.

This sea transport service will be for both passengers and cargoes, he said.

Castanaga said this linkage will support small and medium entrepreneurs (SMEs) and help them in bringing their goods to other foreign markets.

In using this Ro-Ro service, the shipment of goods and farm products will be containerized and the travel time takes about three days.

The sea route is part of the strategic pillars adopted by BIMP-EAGA that falls under Connectivity through the Improvement of Air, Sea and Transport Linkages. (PNA) LAP/LCM/DDB/LDP

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