Rep. Arroyo visits NegOr; checks RoRo project

House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (center) arrives at Sibulan Port, Negros Oriental to check on her favorite project, Strong Republic Nautical Highway. She also met local officials 2nd District Rep. Manuel Sagarbarria (far left) and Sibulan Mayor Jose “Pepe” Abiera (right). (PIA Negros Oriental)

Retired House Speaker and former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was recently at the port of Sibulan, Negros Oriental to monitor her favorite projects that link different islands in the country.

While it is true that the roros were already existing prior to Arroyo’s watch as President of the country, what Arroyo did during her term was to establish the Philippine Nautical Highway which linked most of these roro ports with synchronized trips from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, thus it made marketing of goods faster and more helpful to the national economy, improved tourism travel with ease and convenience, and in fact, made the whole country accessible by buses and cars for the ordinary traveler.

Under her presidency in 2003, the former president started the Strong Republic Nautical Highway project or the RoRo system (roll-on/roll off terminal system) which came to be marketed as an integrated network of highway and vehicular ferry routes that connect major islands of Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

Arroyo said the good thing about the RoRo routes is that it helps the Mindanaoans since everything is brought nearer to the people of Mindanao because of the Central Nautical Highway.

This also helped enhance the accessibility of prime tourist destinations and minimize the handling expenses of goods.

“The tourism in our time, in Central Philippines, certainly has gotten quite a boost because of RoRo connections like in southern part of Cebu the whale sharks in Oslob and the continuing diving attractions in Moalboal and Badian where I used to dive before,” Arroyo said.

She noted that with the tourism development in southern Cebu also tied up with Negros Oriental’s Apo Island diver’s paradise, Dumaguete port has become the entry point of tourists.

The Speaker of the House was also pleased to hear from local officials of Santander, Cebu that the municipality of Oslob was visited by more or less half a million tourists.

Arroyo also cited some of her legacies when she was president, particularly the restoration of fiscal stability which paved the way of building a lot of infrastructure which include the nautical highway both on roads and ports.

Arroyo, in her last two weeks as speaker, thanked the people of Negros Oriental for their support since she ran for public office in 1992 and for giving her a resounding victory during the presidential election in 2004.

She also thanked the Filipino people for giving her the chance to serve as president of the Philippines. (jct/ PIA7-Negros Oriental)