Palawan Governor Jose Alvarez has announced the imminent operation of a Roll-On and Roll-Off (RORO) transport link seen to boost trade and tourism between the southern town of Brooke’s Point and Kudat in Malaysia.
The RORO vessel is designed to ferry heavy machinery, cars, trucks, lorries, and trailers and can carry 420 tons of cargo and 680 passengers per voyage.
“If this materializes, it’s not only profitable in terms of trade, but will also boost Palawan’s tourism industry,” said Alvarez to reporters during the 1st Official Bilateral Meeting of the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asian Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) held at the governor’s hall here during the weekend.
With the planned 2015 economic integration of member-countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) comprising Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam, the ASEAN “will become one big single market and production base,” Mohamed explained.
“The ASEAN economic integration is an opportunity to be a lot better and for Mindanao particularly, it is an opportunity to shine,” Mohamed said.
The Philippines is a member of the nearly two-decade BIMP-EAGA comprising Brunei, East Indonesia, East Malaysia, and the Philippines’ Mindanao and Palawan.
For the looming integration of ASEAN economies, Alvarez said Palawan has competitive edge with its still vast fertile lands, tourism spots, and geographically closer locations to some countries in the ASEAN region like the Muslim-dominated Indonesia, Malaysia, and Brunei.
Alvarez admitted that there is a need to prepare and a lot work to do for Palawan to fully take advantage of the vast opportunities that the ASErs.AN economic integration offers.