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7 RORO routes to be opened, PPA tells GMA, House leaders

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At least seven new routes will be opened under the roll-on roll-off (RORO) system to help bring down costs of transporting goods around the country, officials of the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) told the House committee on transportation.

At Monday’s hearing in Cebu City, House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo secured a commitment from the PPA about the looming opening of seven new RORO routes to lessen transport costs.

“The reason why we put up the RORO system is we want to bring down the cost of transporting food from Mindanao, where it’s plentiful, to Visayas and Luzon,” Arroyo said in an interview.

“And we hope that we’ll continue to reap [its] fruits,” she added.

It was revealed during the House inquiry that except for those using ten-wheeler trucks, the cost of transporting goods is more expensive through the RORO than the conventional methods.

This is due to several factors including logistics, weighing methods, lack of reefer vans and trucker fees, lawmakers learned.

During the hearing, it was revealed that exorbitant fees were being collected for the use weighing scales, prompting the Speaker to ask the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to take over the operation of weighing scales since they have their weighing scales.

“We will try to have another hearing to find out if the DPWH can be the one to take over the weighing,” she said.

Arroyo flew on Monday to Cebu City to personally lead the oversight the committee meeting chaired by Catanduanes Rep. Cesar Sarmiento at the social hall of the Cebu Port Authority (CPA).

The panel had earlier discovered that there were several unserved routes in the RORO system, and upon the Speaker’s prodding, the PPA publicized the new routes.

Several applicants then submitted their intention to service the new routes which will lead to the opening up of new missionary routes in at least seven areas within the year.

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