Sea mar­shalls on Ku­dat-Palawan ferry

The Borneo Post (Sabah) - - HOME -

KOTA KINABALU: Sea mar­shalls will be sta­tioned on the first roll-on-roll-off ferry ser­vice be­tween Ku­dat and Palawan, Philip­pines when it of­fi­cially be­gins its maiden voy­age be­fore the Yule­tide hol­i­days, the com­pany op­er­at­ing the ser­vice dis­closed.

Gen­eral man­ager of Archipelago Philip­pines Fer­ries Cor­po­ra­tion (APFC), Se­gundo C. Men­toya Jr, said the sea mar­shalls are to en­sure the safety of ev­ery voy­age.

He said APFC is guided at all times by its core val­ues such as fo­cused, ac­count­able, safety con­scious, ex­pec­ta­tions and trend­set­ter.

“We will def­i­nitely op­er­ate our maiden voy­age in De­cem­ber and the ex­act date will only be an­nounced to the pub­lic in De­cem­ber,” he said, adding the com­pany as­signed a cata­ma­ran type of multi-hauled ship con­sist­ing of two hulls for the new route.

Men­toya who vis­ited the newly con­structed ramp at the Ku­dat port to­gether with BIMP-EAGA Ku­dat Busi­ness Coun­cil (BEBC) vice-chair­man James Ibrahim on Wed­nes­day, said the ferry is de­signed to ac­com­mo­date a max­i­mum of 300 pas­sen­gers and 40-50 ve­hi­cles plus cargo.

He said the travel time of the sea jour­ney from Bu­l­u­luyan Port to Ku­dat Port is six hours de­pend­ing on sea weather con­di­tion.

“The ves­sel (Cata­ma­ran) has ar­guably be­come the best de­sign for fer­ries be­cause of speed, sta­bil­ity and large ca­pac­ity which is pow­ered by an 18-knot en­gine,” he said, adding that the vi­sion of APFC is to con­trib­ute to na­tion­build­ing by be­ing the in­dus­try leader and stan­dard set­ter in the ferry trans­porta­tion busi­ness.

He said the op­er­a­tion of the much awaited Ku­dat-Palawan sea route com­ple­ments the com­pany's mis­sion to con­nect the Philippine is­lands and neigh­bour­ing coun­tries by pro­vid­ing safe, fast and con­ve­nient ferry trans­port sys­tem for pas­sen­gers and cargo with in­ter­na­tional stan­dards.

Asked on the fare of ferry ticket, he said one-way trip will be tagged not more than RM250 and re­turn trip ticket RM500. How­ever the fare has yet to be of­fi­cially an­nounced to the pub­lic.

“We will be set­ting up ticket coun­ters in Ku­dat man­aged by our ap­pointed mar­ket­ing agent Bor­neo Fort Sdn Bhd,” he added.

Ex­cited with the soft launch­ing of the ferry ser­vice, he said APFC is sched­uled to carry out daily voy­ages af­ter the maiden voy­age.

“We are tar­get­ing to launch our maiden voy­age be­fore De­cem­ber 25 to al­low Filipinos in Sabah to be with their love ones and rel­a­tives dur­ing Christ­mas and New Year cel­e­bra­tions. The maiden voy­age is also meant for Malaysians to be able to spend their Yul­tide hol­i­days in Palawan,” he added.

Mean­while, Ibrahim de­scribed the lat­est de­vel­op­ments of the much awaited Ku­dat-Palawan ferry ser­vices as “a dream come true” ben­e­fi­cial both to the Filipinos and Malaysians, par­tic­u­larly Saba­hans and busi­ness­men.

“I am pleased with the an­nounce­ment of the maiden voy­age as an­nounced by Mr Men­toya and per­son­ally as­sure that my­self and Ku­dat BEBC will do its ut­most to en­sure the suc­cess of this much awaited busi­ness ad­ven­ture un­der­taken by APFC and the Palawan Provin­cial Gov­ern­ment spear­headed by Gov­er­nor Jose C. Alvarez,” he said.

Ibrahim sug­gested that the point of ori­gin of the voy­age should be Ku­dat Port for safety and con­ve­nience of Malaysians and other for­eign tourists, in­clud­ing Filipino pas­sen­gers.

“I per­son­ally be­lieve that start­ing the six-hour sea jour­ney at 7am in Ku­dat will al­low the pas­sen­gers to ar­rive Bu­l­u­luyan Port early af­ter­noon. This will al­low pas­sen­gers to see and ap­pre­ci­ate the beau­ti­ful scener­ies along the way while mak­ing the land trip to Puerto Princesa, cap­i­tal city of Palawan,” he said, not­ing that Bu­l­u­luyan vil­lage and ad­ju­cent ar­eas presently do not have enough ac­com­mo­da­tion fa­cil­i­ties to cater the needs of the vis­i­tors.

On the con­trary, Ibrahim said Ku­dat do not fore­see prob­lems in pro­vid­ing ac­com­mo­da­tion to Palawan-bound pas­sen­gers when they ar­rive In the district early evening.

“We have suf­fi­cient fa­cil­i­ties in Ku­dat for our vis­i­tors to en­joy upon ar­rival ... They can con­ve­niently en­joy the night here be­fore pro­ceed­ing their jour­ney to Kota Kinabalu City and other parts in Sabah the fol­low­ing day,” he stressed, adding that he hoped APFC and the Palawan gov­ern­ment will con­sider the pro­posal.

Ear­lier, Men­toya and his wife Marie and Ibrahim paid a courtesy call to Ku­dat District Of­fi­cer Sapdin Ibrahim.

Dur­ing the visit, the gen­eral man­ager briefed Sapdin on the op­er­a­tional as­pects of the ferry ser­vice and the com­pany's fu­ture plans.

The Ku­dat district of­fi­cer has also ex­pressed his ap­pre­ci­a­tion to the top of­fi­cials and men and women of APFC for choos­ing Ku­dat as des­ti­na­tion for the ferry ser­vice.

Sapdin said the re­al­i­sa­tion of the Ku­dat-Palawan ferry ser­vice will in many ways help im­prove the eco­nomic ac­tiv­i­ties in the district and will cre­ate a pos­i­tive eco­nomic domino ef­fect to the lo­cal pop­u­lace and Sabah in gen­eral.

“I wish you and your com­pany the best in this new en­deav­our and you can count us for our sup­port,” Sapdin told Men­tayo.

Mean­while, Alvarez was ear­lier qouted as say­ing that the Ku­dat-Palawan con­nec­tiv­ity mega project is ben­e­fi­cial to both Saba­hans and Palawe­neos.

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