Press Release
January 27, 2019


Senator Nancy Binay is pushing for the strengthening of the nautical highway and inland waterways as a key for the further growth of tourism in the Visayas and Mindanao.

"Isa sa gusto kong i-promote, I think it's high time that we make use of our bodies of water as a mode of transportation. Yung nautical highway, it's high time that we develop it further and strengthen it upang lalo pang lumago ang tourism industry rito sa Visayas at Mindanao," Binay, the Senate tourism committee chair, said in Cebu City.

The legislator is in Cebu for the blessing of a new ship owned by one of Cebu's shipping companies.

"Susi po ang maayos na transportation network, lalo na at puro island destinations ang Visayas at northern Mindanao," Binay said.

"Cebu is a hub for local and international flights, and by having more transportation options to complement the Cebu airport, tourists can be enticed to go to more destinations," she added.

Binay noted that islands like Bohol, Siquijor, Camiguin, and Siargao had become alternative destinations with the closure of Boracay last year.

The country experienced a 7.65% tourism arrival growth in 2018, with 7.1 million tourists arriving compared to 6.6 million visitors registered in 2017.

She especially pushed for more modern investments in Roll-on/Roll-off (RoRo) vessels and seaports.

"Naniniwala ako na underutilized ang ating waterways, kung kaya kailangan natin ng mga bagong RoRo vessels at more seaports that can handle these kinds of ships. We need more investors for these kind of projects," Binay said.

"More destinations can be opened and easily reached in the Visayas and Mindanao through these initiatives," she added.

Binay noted that there are plans to construct and rehabilitate seaports in the Visayas, which could be linked to Cebu, northern Mindanao, and other parts of the nautical highway.

"Mas maraming economic opportunities ang mabubuksan at mapapalago because of greater mobility and affordability," she said.

The nautical highway, opened in 2003, uses a network of RoRo vessels and seaports to link different islands in the country.

She added that since the opening of the 919-kilometer highway, people have travelled in it as an affordable alternative to flying, and opened access to numerous tourist destinations along its path.

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