Davao, Philippines --- The Department of Transportation (DOTr), together with the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) and the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), led the re-opening of the Davao to Manila Passenger Shipping Route yesterday, 28 October 2018.
To formalize the re-establishment of the route, 2GO Group Inc. (2GO) launched its main vessel, St. Michael the Archangel, with passengers on board for its maiden voyage, bringing back the access to affordable, safe, and fast travel to ordinary Filipinos.
“Our President said, let us make the Filipino life comfortable. Mr. President, today as we celebrate, this is our modest way, 2GO’s modest way, your Cabinet’s modest way, the Transportation Department’s modest way of contributing to your desire to make the Filipino life comfortable,” DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade said during his message.
The re-establishment of ferry operations from Davao to Manila and vice versa is aimed to address the lack of an accessible and affordable route that has been unavailable for almost 10 years. The passenger shipping route is envisioned to enhance connectivity and mobility between Luzon and Mindanao, giving people more travel options and lowering the prices of goods and commodities through the access of freight containers traveling from Davao to Manila and vice versa.
“It is imperative that we establish public sea transport routes from Manila to Davao and other ports across the country. As an archipelago, the Philippines needs the services of efficient sea vessels that would cater to those who need affordable modes of transportation. This route will facilitate greater mobility, encourage investments, and stimulate our local economies,” Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea said.
Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, DOTr Secretary Tugade, Department of Finance (DOTr) Secretary Sonny Dominguez, 2GO Chairman Dennis Uy, and officials from the DOTr and the private sector boarded the vessel and inspected its amenities and services.
“Mr. President, ininspeksyon po namin at tiningnan ang nandiritong vessel ngayon, St. Michael the Archangel, at nakita po namin na with all the amenities embedded, the structure, the seating, the sleeping quarters, pati na po yung palikuran. Mr. President, magandang maganda at tunay na pwedeng ipagmalaki,” Secretary Tugade said.
On the same day, the PPA also inaugurated the new Passenger Terminal Building (PTB) at the Sasa Port in Davao that will provide a convenient and comfortable experience to port passengers.
The PTB features a pre-departure waiting area, screening areas, and clean comfort rooms for passengers. It is also equipped with air-conditioning units, CCTV cameras, fire alarms, Wi-Fi, passenger benches and X-ray machines.