Shipping firm eyes direct N. Sulawesi-Mindanao route

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/17 July) – An Indonesian shipping company is set to open by end-July a new direct shipping service between Indonesia’s North Sulawesi province and several key areas in southern Mindanao.
Jovencio Agus, acting head of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Regional Consular Office 12, said Indonesian firm Ciptadua Sarana has sought clearance from the government for the expansion of its shipping operations starting this month in this city, Glan town in Sarangani
and in Davao City.
He said the direct shipping service will connect the three key ports with trading areas in Manado, Bitung, Tahuna and Talaud in Indonesia.
Agus said officials of Ciptadua Sarana recently met with Consul General Jose D.R. Burgos of the DFA’s Consulate General in Manado to finalize the shipping venture.
Initially, he said the company will deploy its vessel Bawangnusa I for the launching of the Bitung (Indonesia) -Southern Mindanao shipping route as scheduled beginning the end of July.
“Either Bitung or Manado will serve as the starting point, with Glan or GenSan as its first port of entry before proceeding to Davao City and then finally returning to Indonesia,” Agus said in a report released by the Glan Information Office.
The official said representatives of Ciptadua Sarana are set to visit Glan this week to discuss with local officials the planned expansion of its shipping operations at the International Port of Glan.
“This would certainly create another window of opportunity not only for Glan’s future economic strategies but for the benefit of our country as a whole,” Agus said.
Glan Mayor Victor James Yap immediately expressed support for the opening of the shipping route saying they have been coordinating with their counterparts in Indonesia for such ventures.
“This has been in the pipeline since last year when we met and discussed with officials of Tahuna for the launching of direct shipping service with Glan and Parang town in Maguindanao,” he said.
“This is a very positive development, and we in Glan certainly welcome it and hope that it will materialize this time,” he added.
The Glan Port, which is now under the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), has been closed to the public, with entry restricted to passengers and people transacting business with the PPA.
“This is to provide safety for the passengers, safeguard government property and maintain order in the port premises,” Yap said.
With the Glan port’s roll on-roll Off facility due for completion this year, the mayor foresees a significant increase in port activities in the area through the entry of more passenger liners and cargo vessels. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)