More Ro-Ro trips to boost ASEAN tourism — DOT

MANILA– After launching the Roll-on-Roll-off (Ro-Ro) trips between the Davao and Gen. Santos City seaports and Bitung, Indonesia, the Department of Tourism (DOT) on Tuesday said that it is looking forward to the upcoming launch of Ro-Ro trips between Mindanao and Palawan seaports and those of Malaysia and Brunei.

Teo, during the recent launch of M/V Super Shuttle weekly Ro-Ro ferry service, said that creating a network of sea routes between the country’s sea gateways and those of Asian neighbors was necessary to boost the country’s tourism.

“The Ro-Ro trips, where air-conditioned tourist buses can board the ships or barges and new cruise ship lines may yet enhance tourism and trade within the Southeast Asian growth area,” Teo said.

Aside from boosting tourism exchange and cruise ship industry, Teo said that it will also improve trade and maritime relations between the Southeast Asian nations.

She, meanwhile, welcomed the launching of the new shipping route, which is within the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) noting that it is the Philippine government’s maiden accomplishment under its ASEAN chairmanship this year.

In a joint declaration on establishing direct sea connectivity, Pres. Rodrigo Duterte and Indonesian Pres. Joko Widodo agreed to provide naval escorts to the Ro-Ro ships within their respective jurisdiction.

The Secretary said the Duterte administration has also mapped out plans for joint naval operations with Indonesia and Malaysia to secure the maritime borders to protect the Ro-Ro vessels and cruise ship passengers. Azer Parrocha/PNA-northboundasia.com