A seaport in the town of San Fernando in Cebu is being groomed as part of a new nautical highway directly connecting Batangas and Misamis Oriental in Mindanao via Mindoro Oriental, five provinces in the Visayas and Camiguin island, House Deputy Majority Leader and Cebu Rep. Gerald Anthony Gullas Jr. said on Tuesday.
“The San Fernando Port in Cebu is getting P358 million in fresh funding to complete the central backbone of roll-on and roll-off (RORO) ferry services,” according to Gullas.
The lawmaker said the new money has been included in the House-approved 2017 General Appropriations Act and the port development project would be handled by the Cebu Port Authority.
“The San Fernando Port in Barangay South Poblacion will soon be able to efficiently receive and dispatch RORO ferry services,” Gullas said in a statement.
San Fernando is located 30 kilometers south of Cebu City.
The new nautical highway will pass by ports in Batangas City in Batangas; Calapan City and the Municipality of Roxas in Oriental Mindoro; the town of Malay in Aklan; Dumangas, Iloilo; Bacolod City and San Carlos City in Negros Occidental; and docks in Toledo City and San Fernando, Cebu.
From San Fernando, the maritime highway will go through piers in the towns of Tubigon and Jagna in Bohol; Mambajao and Mahinog in Camiguin; and final stop at harbors in the town of Balingoan and Cagayan de Oro City in Misamis Oriental.
“The new route is expected to cut in a big way travel time by land and sea from Southern Luzon to Northern Mindanao,” Gullas said.
In his district, he added, he is counting on the upgrade of the San Fernando Port as nautical highway hub to
boost economic activity as well as livelihood opportunities, particularly for low-income families.
The 919-kilometer nautical highway is a network of roads and port terminals developed by the national government to speed up the countrywide inter-island transfer of motor vehicles, passengers and goods using RORO boats.
Meanwhile, Gullas said the Philippine Ports Authority is spending another P50 million next year to build a shelter port at Inabanga town in Bohol, plus P40 million to repair the causeway of a port in Buenavista town damaged by the 2013 earthquake.