More inter-island ferries can now dock in Bogo City after Cebu Governor Hilario P. Davide III and Mayor Carlo Martinez led the formal opening ceremony of the newly-built Roll-on, Roll-off (Ro-Ro) ramp in Polambato Wharf, Bogo City yesterday.
Davide, a staunch advocate of countryside development, said the quay’s location is strategic in stimulating economic growth in Northern Cebu, as it opens Cebu’s accessibility to neighboring islands, including Luzon.
Recently, the wharf offers trips to Leyte, Masbate and Manila.
Mayor Carlo Martinez said the new shore-based ramp is helpful to the growth of the city as they expect an annual income of P7 million with the opening of additional routes.
Capitol poured P30 million from its development fund to help build the project, while Bogo City shelled out a total of P15.7 million as counter-part fund.
The P45.7 million-worth shore-based ramp will trigger the port’s development and expansion as it provides a fresh infrastructure network that will connect the consumer market of Luzon to the agricultural production centers of Visayas and Mindanao.
Polambato Port Officer Nelson Navares said that with more shipping companies going in, more passengers can be accommodated that would give way to the port’s increasing revenue.
In 2012, the port’s yearly earnings is around P2 million but it increased to P6 million, he said.
With the recent development, Navares expects a huge increase in its revenues.
Navares said that presently, the port serves four routes, going to Cataingan and Cawayan, both in Masbate; and Villaba and Palompon, both in Leyte.
On October 18, Navares said, Lite Shipping will start its six-hour travel from Polambato Port to Calbayog City Port in Western Samar. This will be Bogo port’s fifth route.
In Calbayog City, numerous buses for Metro Manila are available, he said.
Association of Barangay Captains (ABC) President Celestino “Tining” Martinez III said then President Joseph Estrada gave P30 million for the port’s development.
But during the time of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, the Strong Republic Nautical Highway (SRNH) was built, establishing nautical highways throughout the Philippines that link Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
The project, Martinez said, enables land trips around the country through these Ro-Ro ports.
Arroyo made Polambato wharf as part of the Central Nautical Highway, Martinez said adding that the port also served as alternative route of relief assistance in emergency situations like what happened after typhoon Yolanda, when roads were impassable.
During the ceremony, Davide was assisted by Mayor Carlo Martinez, Vice Mayor Cielo Martinez and ABC President Celestino “Tining” Martinez III.