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No hurry on Kudat- Palawan ferry service
Published on: Thursday, June 02, 2016

Kota Kinabalu: The proposed Kudat-Palawan Ro-Ro (Roll-On, Roll-Off ) ferry service will not be rushed and kick off only when all the road infrastructure facilities and other preparations are completed, its re-elected provincial governor Jose C. Alvarez said in an exclusive interview.

He said his government had yet to complete a portion of the ongoing road infrastructure between the "landing point" in Baliluyan and Puerto Princessa.

The relevant government agencies as well as the players should also be equipped with effective system and know how to ensure smooth operation of the ferry services, he said. "I want this project to be successful because achieving the goals would mean providing more economic opportunities towards improved quality of life for the people in Sabah and Palawan."

"Avenues will be opened for better trading goods and services coming from Palawan," the Governor stressed.

The Asian Ro-Ro Network Connectivity is one of the flagship programmes adopted during the 17th Asean Summit in Vietnam. There is great possibility that the ferry service will officially commence by middle of next year.

Alvarez said once the ferry service starts, all passengers bound for Sabah will be required to submit a copy of their passport to the local authority a day before the scheduled departure day.

" A list of names of confirmed passengers will immediately be forwarded to the authorities in Sabah for scrutiny and record purposes. Such measure is needed for security purposes for both countries, " he said.

The travel time for the sea journey from Kudat to Buliluyan is estimated between 2-3 hours .

" We have presently close to a dozen Catamaran-type ferries operating in the province and anytime we can divert one or two of our ferries to ply the Kudat-Palawan route," he said. The ferry is designed to accommodate 300 passengers plus 40 vehicles.

Upon arrivial at Buliluyan port, Alvarez said visitors will be transported by land to Puerto Princessa with travel time 4 -5 hours.

Meanwhile, BIMP-EAGA Business Council Kudat vice-chairman Datuk James Ibrahim said Kudat is more than eager to give all the necessary support to ensure that the connectivity project will achieve its goals.

"The upgrading works of the ramps in our Kudat port has just been completed and ready to provide the necessary services for the smooth operation of the Kudat-Palawan ro-ro ferry services," he said.

He said the local businessmen in Kudat are looking forward to the operation of the ferry services next year.

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