The NEDA Regional Office (NRO) in MIMAROPA conducted the 2nd Semester Strong Republic Nautical Highwayor SRNH Inter-agency Meeting on November 16 through Zoom video conference. The meeting was attended by representatives from the Department of Public WorKs and Highways (DPWH) Oriental Mindoro 1st District and 2nd District Offices, Land Transportation Office (LTO) MIMAROPA, Philippine Coast Guard Palawan, and Southern Tagalog, Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB IV), Philippine Ports Authority-Port Management Office (PPA-PMO) Oriental Mindoro, and Montenegro Shipping Lines, Inc.
MIMAROPA Regional Development Council (RDC) Vice Chairperson and Regional Director (RD) Agustin C. Mendoza of NRO MIMAROPA chaired the meeting. Mendoza expressed the positive impact of the nautical highway system, which will not only have a significant impact on the regional economy but also encourages social equity. He emphasized that the SRNH is a key component of the connectivity strategy under the Luzon Spatial Development Framework (LSDF). LSDF is the blue print for the spatial development of the whole Luzon regions. SRNH is one of the major transportation infrastructures that interlink the rapidly urbanizing mainland Luzon with the agriculture dependent island provinces. Continued improvement on the SRNH will attain greater efficiency in the distribution of products and services at various market levels and provide opportunity in creating vibrant local economy.
Discussed during the meeting were the following: (a) status of SRNH road expansion projects; (b) status of weigh bridge stations; (c) PCG and MARINA report on maritime safety and security; (d) status of coast guard stations in SRNH ports; and (e) shipping companies on status of operations.
Mendoza, meanwhile, proposed the conduct of a webinar for MARINA, shipping companies, and other concerned government agencies, to discuss matters on transportation industry specially the maritime sector, as well as to lay down interventions and strategies for shipping services in the region to sustain the flow of goods and services, and further improve marine transportation amidst the effects of COVID-19 pandemic.
He also informed the body that the development planning period will commence next year, and will require significant inputs and participation from the SRNH member agencies to ensure complementation with the national and regional development plans.