A new roll-on/roll-off (Ro-Ro) service between Polloc-Parang, Maguindanao del Norte and Lamitan port in Basilan was officially launched on April 25.
The weekly shipping operation is the first phase of the RoRo shipping network in Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) aimed at enhancing connectivity in and out of the region, Bangsamoro Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) said in a statement.
The launch, spearheaded by BARMM Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim and MOTC Minister Paisalin Tago, follows approval of the new route by the Bangsamoro Maritime Industry Authority in a board meeting on April 13.
The MV Island Paradise, owned by Atty. Pherham Saiddi of Saiddi Agri-Farm and Trading, Inc., is used on the Maguindanao-Basilan ro-ro service.
“Having inter-island routes in BARMM’s island provinces provides a faster and cheaper channel for trading goods and other services, which will increase investment inflows and boost BARMM’s socio-economic development,” Tago said in a statement.
Mindanao Development Authority Secretary Mabel Acosta commended MOTC and the Ministry of Trade, Investments and Tourism (MTIT) for their efforts in launching the initiative. “As our country’s coordinating office, we will support development efforts in the Bangsamoro. I’m congratulating the MOTC and MTIT for this landmark development initiative,” she said.
The project was initiated with technical assistance from the United States Agency for International Development-Regulatory Reform Support Program for National Development. It is expected to facilitate faster and cheaper trading of goods and services as well as increase investment inflows and boost BARMM’s socio-economic development.
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The launch of the Maguindanao-Basilan ro-ro service is also expected to reinforce BARMM’s position as the front door of the Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines-East ASEAN Growth Area, which will increase trade activities, businesses, and communications in the region.