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Cebu bloc forms biggest domestic shipping association

Cebu-based shipowners and operators recently assembled together to establish the Philippine Coastwise Shipping Association Inc. (PCSA), the country’s largest shipping group with the most members and biggest total gross tonnage of ships combined.

Former President and House speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was named as chairman emeritus of the group and inducted the officers of the newly-formed group .

She was named as chairman emeritus in recognition of her establishment of the 919-kilometer Strong Republic Nautical Highway (SRNH) in 2003 which connected major ports across the archipelago for ease of cargo and passenger shipping.

At the induction are (from left) PCSA 2019-2020 officers, Board of Trustees members Arthur Kenneth Sy of Trans-Asia Shipping Lines and Jose Emery Roble of Roble Shipping Lines, chairman Lucio Roger Lim, Jr., president Paul Rodriguez of Asian Marine Transport Corp., former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Dennis Berania of Montenegro Shipping Lines (proxy for vice-president for passenger shipping Vicente Montenegro, Jr.); vice-president for cargo shipping Benson Go of Seen Sam Shipping, treasurer Pio Serafin Fulache of Medallion Transport, corporate secretary Teresa Abad of Supercat Fast Ferry, and tree Alexander Cohon of Lapu Lapu Shipping Lines.

Arroyo said that the group would unite and strengthen the voice of the shipping operators in Visages and Mindanao to advance the modernization of the domestic shipping industry. She added that the development of the roll-on, roll-off (RORO) network within the SRNH enhanced the competitiveness and brought down the cost of transporting goods from the countryside to the urban centers, and helped boost tourism as well.

The PCSA is composed of members of the Philippine RORO Operators Association, the Visayan Association of Ferry Boat and Coastwise Ship-owners Operators, and the United Trampers Association of the Philippines.

With the merger, the association strengthened the position of the Maritime Industry Authority-Region 7 for having the biggest gross tonnage of ships registered in the country.

According to PSCA Chairman Lucio Lim Jr., the Cebu-based group aims to unify ship owners and operators for a policy framework for modernization, adherence to safety and service standards, and strengthen government and private sector cooperation.

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