The cost of basic commodities in far-flung Philippine islands has been considerably reduced with the use of roll-on, roll-off (roro) vessels financed by the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) under its Sustainable Logistics Development Program (SLDP).
Asian Marine Transport Corporation (AMTC) president Paul Rodriguez said the roro has provided many benefits to small businessmen such as the elimination of double handling in loading and unloading of goods, damage and pilferage of goods and the reduction of unnecessary port congestion since goods are no longer stockpiled in the ports.
Diesel price has been cut down from P58 to P51 a liter while a bag of cement now costs P220 from P230 in the island of Camotes, Cebu after the establishment of a Roro route linking it to Danao City in mainland Cebu.
Rodriguez also cited that a liter of a popular soft drinks brand in Cawayan, Masbate now costs P25, down from the previous P30 after the area was connected to Bogo, Cebu through the roro.
Meanwhile, cement prices have gone down to P235 a bag in Dinagat island after the establishment of the Surigao City – Dinagat island roro connection.
Rodriguez also said that the company’s Super Shuttle Ferry carries an average of eight fish carrier trucks daily with approximately 80,000 kilos of fish caught from Dapitan to Dumaguete and transported to Caticlan in Aklan; Roxas, Oriental Mindoro; Batangas then finally to Navotas in Metro Manila.
Rodriguez also mentioned the roro’s effect on tourism particularly in Camiguin, which has registered the the third highest growth rate in tourist arrivals in the country due to accessibility made possible thru the roro connection of Jagna, Bohol to Camiguin Island.