Atty. Juan C. Sta. Ana visited Bicol on March 15-16, 2011, marking his third out-of-town trip since his appointment as PPA General Manager. Accompanied by AGM for Corporate Affairs & Special Projects/Port District Manager for Southern Luzon, Hector E. Miole, Sta. Ana led the launching of the Roll-On, Roll-Off (RORO) service along the route connecting the Ports of Nato to Caramoan (both in Camarines Sur and eventually to Codon, in San Andres, Catanduanes).
The maiden voyage of MV Calixta 3 for this route is a triumph of determination and optimism among PPA, Partido Development Administration, and Catanduanes Gov. Joseph Cua. In his speech, GM Sta. Ana said that this ferry service in ports around Lagonoy Gulf will lure bus operators, haulers, traders, and tourists as they will find land travel from Metro Manila to Codon, San Andres, Catanduanes via Nato Port to be shorter by at least two hours than the trip from Manila to Codon via Tabaco Port.
Sta. Ana also added that the prospect that this route will certainly attract more foreign and local tourists to enjoy the pristine and white Boracay- like beaches of Caramoan and Catanduanes is likewise gratifying.
The new route is also consistent with the 2011 Regional Development Plan, particularly in enhancing water transport thru strategic RORO ports linking Catanduanes, Caramoan, Codon, and Nato. The construction of the port of Codon is currently being undertaken by DOTC while the RORO ramp integral to the RORO connection is scheduled to be put up by 2012. The Port of Caramoan was completed in March 2010 from PPA corporate funds.
The expeditious attainment of the region’s plan will be reliant on the government agencies’ active participation and coordinated efforts, said Cong. Noli Fuentebella. Speaking before the crowd during the MOA signing and RORO launching, Fuentebella who represents the 4th district of Camarines Sur, which includes the town of Sagnay,also thanked PPA thru GM Sta. Ana for its many assistance, the latest of which is the construction of Elise Point Lighthouse in Bgy. Patitinan, Sagnay, Camarines Sur. The maiden voyage, he continues, is a historic event and jumpstarts the further development of Camarines Sur, on one hand and the entire Philippines, on the other.
The Port of Nato features a PPA-constructed RORO ramp. Along with eight other municipalities, Nato and Caramoan are under the jurisdiction of the Partido Development Administration. Another port in Siruma has been constructed by PPA that includes a RORO ramp.
GM Sta. Ana complemented the RORO launching with his signing of the MOA, renewing the continued management and operation of the Nato Port by the PDA for another 15 years. He said that with the opening of the RORO operations, the MOA extension will boost PDA’s marketing promotion as well as the current traffic of the Port of Nato.
Sta. Ana further said that the only way for the country to develop is to link its islands to enable faster transport and exchange of goods and services. He also congratulated Gov. Cua for fostering the commercial ties between Catanduanes and Camarines Sur, initially thru this pioneering ferry route. Regular trips start in May this year when the vessel earmarked for this route arrives from China.
Sta. Ana and Miole inspected the ports of Tabaco and Legazpi. At the PPA PMO Administration Building, Port Manager Rosenda G. Sumagaysay led the welcome program in GM’s Sta. Ana’s honor.