Setting Sail towards Progress: MOTC Launches MV Island Paradise for Inaugural Voyage

Lamitan, Basilan- The MV Island Paradise Ship, with a 567.0 Tonnage Capacity left, Polloc port at 3:30 pm. After it had traveled 16 and a half-hour trip, the RoRo finally arrived at the City Port Terminal of Lamitan, Basilan, where the City Government of Basilan and its people welcomed the arrival of MOTC Minister Paisalin Tago, with his Executives, Water Transport Sector Heads, and some employees as the RoRo ship successfully docked at its port.

Soon after, the proper program commenced with the prayer and opening remarks of the representative of the City Mayor, Hon. Roderick Furigay, by his Admin Officer and OIC-Manager, Port of Lamitan, Maria Florencia Candelaria Bisal, who read his note:

Today’s launching highlights Lamitan City as the Economic Corregidor of Basilan Province. The inaugural voyage marks the milestone of the economic endeavor of Lamitan City and Basilan Province in general as we unload and load the products and markets of our people. It has been a long dream for our traders to no longer pass the Circuitous route of the Zamboanga peninsula. As it is now, it is easier to sell our product to Cotabato City and in the Province of Maguindanao. The opening of the new route will not only mean savings but also convenience to our people and revenue to our province.

Meanwhile, Basilan Provincial Governor Jim Hataman Salliman urged MOTC Minister Tago and the BARMM government to advocate strengthening the functionality and interconnectivity of the island provinces of BaSulTa and the mainland and its economic activity.

Moreover, Minister Tago said that one thing to prosper the economy is connectivity. He enumerated milestones in the transportation sector and highlighted the potential contribution from this launching of the RoRo route to speed up connectivity to promote more inclusive growth by bringing isolated areas and marginalized people closer to the market.

He proudly announced that Maluso would soon open its door to port connectivity. He then tasked the BMARINA and the BPMA to include in their Master Development Plan (MDP) the connectivity of other island spaces in Sulu and Tawi-Tawi as they were the priorities.

He also mentioned the plan to establish an airport in Basilan to bridge air connectivity and accessibility to the other cities in the Philippines.

Finally, he thanked the Chief Minister Ahod B. Ebrahim Al-Hajj for supporting the plans and initiatives of the ministry and giving him the capacity to contribute and implement projects to support economic development in the BARMM.