Instead of competing with the private sector, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo said that government must complement the private Roll-on Roll-off facilities already in place in Davao City and Samal. This she declared during her visit to Davao City, which she inaugurated the P396-million Port of Davao expansion project in Sasa seaport last Friday (Feb. 13).

Another expansion program of the Sasa seaport was programmed for the construction of RoRo facilities in the wharf. The RoRo system would have connected it to Samal Island which will then connect with another RoRo system to Lupon in Davao Oriental. The RoRo project is one of the flagship programs of the Arroyo administration. An Asian Development Bank funded project is the Davao-Samal-Lupon RoRo system.

However, the President during an interaction with members of the media right after the inauguration bared that she realized that there were already existing RoRo ramps in Davao City and Samal both owned by the Bangayan family which operates a ferry service that connects Davao City and the Island Garden City of Samal. The President said that the Government must not compete with the private sector but instead complement the existing private sector initiative. She said that instead of building a RoRo ramp in Samal and Davao, the budget instead will be allocated to build a RoRo facility in Pantukan in Compostela Valley province. She said that Pantukan was chosen instead of the original plan in Lupon was that based on studies, Lupon is not one of the best places for placing a RoRo port.

Another promotion strategy the President is working out is to entice the Bangayans to build another RoRo port in the eastern side of Samal, which will be complemented by the ongoing project of Davao del Norte second district Congressman Anton Lagdameo to build a road network across Samal. (PIA XI)

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Reference: PIA Information Services – Philippine Information Agency

Philippine Ports Authority Port Mananagement Office of Davao