Palawan ready to work with Sabah
Published on: Sunday, June 24, 2018

Kota Kinabalu: Palawan Governor Jose C. Alvarez is confident Sabah will experience more development under the new Warisan-led State Government of Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal."I am hopeful Sabah will achieve greater heights not only in development but also in strengthening ties with neighbours like Palawan province in the Philippines," the visiting Governor said after meeting with Shafie on Friday.

Alvarez said he is aware that the new administration needs time to fine-tune how best to develop the state and uplift the standard of living of Sabahans.

"On the side of the Philippines, particularly Palawan, we are always ready to work closely with Sabah and Malaysia for mutual benefits in all aspects".

On the much awaited Kudat-Palawan roll-on, roll-off ferry service which was also discussed in the meeting, Alvarez said preparations for the connectivity project were completed.

"Palawan is ready anytime. Since the administration of Shafie is new, we are willing to wait," he said.

Alvarez said once operational, the service would focus on the mobility of cargoes among BIMP-EAGA member countries and other Asian nations.

He said Palawan is looking to Kudat port as the transhipment point for its bananas to northern Asian markets.

"Del Monte company has invested US$250 million in banana plantations covering 8,000 hectares in Palawan and we are estimating 10 to 15 million boxes a year to pass through Sabah for our North Asian market," he said.

On the possible resumption of barter trade activity between Sabah and Mindanao which was suspended by the previous BN administration due to the kidnappings, Alvarez said he fully support the measure (review).

"The indigenous people in southern Palawan especially the Muslim community there really need the barter trade activity because the basic essential commodities coming from Manila are very expensive," he said.

Opening again the doors is a positive way of bringing Malaysian goods to Palawan and nearby cities and municipalities via Sabah and Labuan.

He said the ferry project can also be catalyst to the resumption of the barter trade activity because it would help create jobs and business opportunities on both borders. - Nikko Fabian


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