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SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau



31 March 2017 06:02:55 PM

Members of the House of Representatives momentarily left their comfort zones as they participated in the 11-day Ports and Roads Inspection Tour which consisted of Roll on-Roll off or RORO transfers in six major ports along the Western and Eastern Nautical Highways and 3,062 kilometers land travel. Around 75 incumbents (or one-fourth of the 17th Congress membership), and countless former House Members and local chief executives lent support to the caravan which visited provinces, cities and municipalities in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. Transportation Committee Chairman Rep. Cesar V. Sarmiento (Lone District, Catanduanes), who spearheaded the activity, specifically thanked Speaker Pantaleon D. Alvarez (1st District, Davao del Norte) and Majority Leader Rodolfo C. Fariñas (1st District, Ilocos Norte) for making a worthwhile endeavor become reality. “This is historic because this is the first time that the Congress leadership, headed by the Speaker and the Majority Leader, undertook port inspection in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao,’’ said Sarmiento. Other agencies such as the Department of Transportation (DOTr), Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), Philippine National Police (PNP), Special Action Force (SAF), Armed Forces of the Philippines, Department of Tourism (DOT) and Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) rallied behind the legislators’ quest for inclusive change especially in far-flung areas. “With the data we gathered on the ground and the experience we had during the expedition, we can (and we should) come up with the needed development programs as regards Philippine ports, sea vessels and land transport system. We already did half the work when we took the nautical highway; it will be a big failure if the expedition inspection will not translate it into any improvement. Failure to do so would be a great disservice to our people,” Sarmiento stressed. DDJP/MS