As Davao-GenSan-Bitung roll on/roll off (RORO) shipping route was launched this Sunday, a list of products has been identified as restricted for export to Indonesia.
Speaking during a media briefing on Friday, Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s former president Dr. Maria Lourdes G. Monteverde revealed that the products to be exempted from the trade included gifts, toys, house wares, electronics, pharmaceutical products, cosmetics, shoes, and textiles.
“But since the Ministry Trade Order (MTO No. 9) has been lifted, I don’t think so that they will ano, kasi they want to have that ASEAN economic community,” said Monteverde, adding that the lifting of MTO was part of the initiative of the ASEAN to achieve the desired volume of products to sustain the trade.
Mindanao Development Authority Development Management Officer of International Relations Division Eamarie M. Gilayo commented that although six to seven restrictions were lifted, as of now, there are still issues when it comes to quarantine, and CIQS (customs, immigration, quarantine and security).
“The fresh fruits could still not be entered into this initial voyage but as mentioned both the task forces of the Philippines and Indonesia are closely coordinated with each other and hopefully after the initial voyage these restrictions would be lifted,” she added.
MinDA is part of the interagency task force created to “ease the transport regulations” of the RoRo.
Meanwhile, among the products that can be exchanged between the two countries include animal feeds, aqua products, charcoal, coffee beans, construction materials, copra, feed ingredients, fertilizers, food and beverages, fresh fruits, ice cream products, meats, peanuts, poultry (halal), soya, sugar, and synthetics.
M/V Super Shuttle RoRo 12, operated by the Asian Marine Transport Corporation will provide a weekly shipping service to the route with a vessel capacity of 500 Twenty Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs).
Exporters from Mindanao can save up to 68 percent of shipping cost with the new Davao-GenSan-Bitung roll on/roll off (RORO) shipping route, said to be the cheapest and fastest route between Mindanao and Indonesia.
Data from the MinDA showed exporters pay a shipping cost of P109,098 per TEU under the current Davao-Manila-Jakarta-Bitung sea route that takes three to five weeks of travel.
Moreover, the new sea route will cut the cost to P34,713 per TEU with a much shorter travel time of one to two days.
The shipping route was the result of the feasibility study conducted in 2010 by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), in collaboration with United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Research Education and Institutional Development Foundation, as part of the ASEAN Connectivity Masterplan.
The Davao-Gensan-Bitung RoRo launching is headed by President Rodrigo Duterte and President Joko Widodo of Indonesia.