More transport choices to Palawan, Zamboanga

KOTA KINABALU: The forthcoming maiden voyage of the Kudat-Palawan roll-on, roll-off (RoRo) ferry and the planned inaugural Cebu Pacific Airline’s Cebu-Zamboanga-Sandakan flight are eagerly awaited by the people in Sabah and the Philippines.

“Standard Marine Agencies Sdn Bhd, the appointed ticketing agent of the Sandakan-Zamboanga weekly ferry, said, the new transport services would give more choices to the public.

“We welcome the entry of the new sea route and revival of the Sandakan air link. The more the merrier and the developments will give more alternatives to the traveling passengers,” its managing director, Chow Yang Ann, said.

“Chow said, the realisation of the Palawan-operated ferry service will surely be to the advantage of Sabah, especially on the aspects of movement of cargoes of local traders and businessmen.

“He said, the operations of the two weekly ferry services will also mean that Sabahans will now have more choices when planning to visit the neighbouring Philippines.

“Filipino workers wishing to return home to their motherland can now opt to return via southern Mindanao (Sandakan-Zamboanga) or use the Kudat-Palawan route,” he said.

“Furthermore, Chow said, the two ferry services will also be advantageous to the State government because the local authorities can now carry out deportation exercises of illegal Filipinos at the detention centres via Sandakan and Kudat.

“On the planned Cebu Pacific Airlines inaugural flight scheduled in October, Chow said, the revival of the air link will definitely be beneficial to everybody and will help boost our tourism sector.

“I am sure our local business community welcomes the revival of the Cebu-Zamboanga-Sandakan route,” he added.

Replying to a related question, Chow said: “I am happy to announce that our Sandakan-Zamboanga service, which was temporarily suspended, will now resume its operation starting next Tuesday.”

“He said, the ferry service was suspended early this month because the vessel had to undergo dry docking maintenance as required under the law.

“We are happy to inform that the dry docking maintenance was completed this week and our vessel is now ready to resume its weekly operation. This means our vessel will depart the port of Zamboanga City on Monday and will arrive Sandakan port on Tuesday. On the evening of the same day, the vessel will return to its original port,” Chow said.

“The regular ferry service has been engaged by the Malaysian government to deport Filipino illegals in Sabah, apart from providing people and cargo mobility for BIMP-EAGA member countries since its inception in the 90’s.

“On the much awaited Kudat-Palawan connectivity mega project, Palawan Governor, Jose C. Alvarez, recently proudly announced that the ferry service will officially be launched during the first week of December.

“He said, preparations for the grand launching ceremony are now being finalised by the staff of the provincial government.

“Alvarez said, prominent and VVIP personalities both in the government and private sectors in Palawan and Sabah will be invited to witness the colourful and memorable event.

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