PIODURAN, Albay, June 29 (PNA) -- This fishing village in the west coast of Albay will soon rise as a trading hub of the province following the opening on Tuesday of a new all weather roll- on/roll- off (Ro-Ro) port in the third district of the province.
The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) and Albay province formally opened the P62 million Ro-Ro facilities in the Port of Pioduran making the third class town in Albay a new gateway of Bicol to the island province of Masbate, the Visayas and Mindanao.
The inauguration signals the start of operation of three shipping lines with RORO vessels namely , the Montenegro Shipping Lines, Sta Clara Shipping and the Medallion Transport,that would ply daily the Masbate to Pioduran, Albay vice versa route.Each ro-ro vessel can accommodate 300 passengers, passenger bus, cargo trucks and light vehicles.
Rosenda Sumagaysay, PPA regional director said the port which started construction work in 2009, has a 100-meter by 6 meter rock causeway, and a RORO ramp and platform.
Sumagaysay said the Port of Pioduran is the third port to be opened this month in Bicol, Recently inaugurated were the Guijalo port in Caramoan and Nato port in Sangay, all in Camarines Sur.
PPA data showed that there are 25 RORO facilities in Bicol.
"The port is a reality of a long time dream in bringing opportunities in trade and investments that would shape the future of the area,”he said.
Albay Gov. Joey Salceda lauded the PPA and the three shipping lines for building the Port of Pantao and opening the RORO services making the town a future trading hub in the third district of the province.
Salceda said the port is acknowledged as the strategic RORO facility in the entire west coast area in Bicol.
“Strategic since trading and transport would be fast via Pioduran port; businessmen doing business in mainland Bicol would save a lot in freight cost compared to the ports in Sorsogon, ” he said.
Unlike Pilar Port in Sorsogon where the RORO operates only during high tide, the Pioduran port offers a 24-hour RORO operations.
Pioduran port would serve as a catchment area of close to a half million population in the towns of Oas, Libon, Pioduran and Ligao City in Albay, Donsol in Sorsogon, San Pascual, Claveria, and Masbate City in Masbate province.
The port, which is included in the countries nautical highway program,is a component of the province spatial integration where seaports would link with road networks of the Ligao-Pioduran road, the Albay West Coast road and the Pioduran-Donsol road.
Pioduran, formerly known as Malakbalak town, is a third class coastal town in the west coast area in the third district of Albay, with 44,972 population. Its main livelihood is fishing and farming.(PNA)