Friday, April 17, 2009

Roxas Port, Oriental Mindoro

Essentially crowded especially during peak travel season. The holding and waiting area for buses, trucks and small vehicles while waiting for their turn to enter the RORO is relatively not big enough compared to the big volume of vehicles.

Consequently, passengers exceed the capacity of the passenger lounge, one is a new structure, air-conditioned, with 2 tv and toilet rooms. The other has a roof but no walls, wider, the seats are old and dilapidated, no toilet.

The port collects P15/passenger “terminal fee”.

Pictures shown were as of 1am of April 6.

The RORO ships plying the Roxas-Caticlan route are bigger than those plying the Batangas-Calapan route, but there are not enough ships. A delivery truck driver I talked to said they arrived 6pm and as of 1am, they do not know when their truck can be accommodated. On some occasions, trucks have to wait for 1 day or more as the RORO ships prioritize buses, next are smaller vehicles, trucks are the last.

I think there is a need to either expand the capacity of Roxas port, bring in more boats from existing shipping lines or from new players. Another option is to build another port even further south of Mindoro island, which is actually closer to Caticlan than Roxas. Of course there are other navigational and engineering considerations like depth of a port, some cover from strong winds, etc.

The boat was jampacked, many passengers, me included, could not find a seat and have to sit on the floor the entire trip from 2 to 6am!

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