The island town of Busuanga is preparing to open a Manila-Busuanga sea travel route for cargoes and passenger vessels, a measure that local officials say will help strengthen their local economy.
The town’s port is currently only used as a docking area for small motorboats and as a drop-off area for small-scale fishermen unloading their daily catch.
Busuanga information officer Jonathan Dabuit said in an interview Friday that the route is scheduled for completion in January 2021.
“Sa timeline we are looking at next year, most probably January,” he said.
He added that the opening of the route has been a longtime plan of the Busuanga local government unit (LGU).
“Dati pa ‘yan, ‘yong plano na magkaroon ng Manila-Busuanga route, pero for reasons unknown, hindi na nai-push,” he added.
The town’s Putod Pier, the only formal port of entry for sea vessels, was deemed qualified by the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) to manage a feeder port, according to a press statement dated December 3. This means that the pier can accommodate only local vessels, and not international cruise and cargo ships, Dabuit explained.
Currently, Busuanga does not have any sea travel routes to other towns and provinces, as most routes lead to Coron’s port.
Dabuit added that the opening Busuanga to Manila via sea travel is part of the Busuanga Local Economic Recovery (LER) Program. He stated that the route will not only bring in tourists from Manila but will also allow for the one-stop exportation of locally sourced materials, such as agriculture and fishery products, to Manila.
“Ang LER is the local government’s plan to manage all of Busuanga’s business sectors, which includes local fishermen and farmers. Putod Pier is also the town’s community fish landing center. The local government is seeking to manage all economic activity para hindi na sila nagkakanya-kanya. With the opening of the Manila-Busuanga route, mapapadali ang shipment ng mga products, lalo na ang mga fishery at agricultural products. So, hindi lang tourism ang tinitingnan na benefit dito, pati na rin sa other sectors,” he said.