More RORO will increase farmers’ income — solon

December 11, 2021 People's Journal 579 views

A veteran member of the House of Representatives is proposing more roll-on, roll-off (RORO) ports and infrastructures in order to boost the income of farmers.

Albay Representative Joey Salceda said more food production and supplies in different markets nationwide will lower inflation and increase farmer incomes.

Salceda said adenser interzonal nautical highway system, or simply more RORO [roll-on, roll-off] ports, is a crucial intervention to boost farmers’ incomes and lower food transport costs as the country is bound for “moderate inflation” over the near-term.

“The new normal when it comes to prices, as the economy reopens, will probably be 4-5 percent food inflation. I can particularly see some medium-term supply constraints on corn, which would also then contribute to inflation in meat and poultry supply,” Salceda explained.

He added that part of the poor volume of supply is the problem with distribution chains.

“ Yellow corn, for example, is down just three percent year on year, but inflation is at 15 percent for corn. The distribution chains of yellow corn, particularly from Mindanao to the rest of the country, appears to be suffering from certain chokeholds Currently, there are only three landings for the Nautical Highway System in Mindanao,” he said.

He is proposing more in Iligan and in the Zambasulta (Zamboanga; Basilan; Sulu and Tawi-Tawi) area.

For the Bicol region, Salceda noted : “In terms of transport, functionally Bicol is an island, because of the vast emptiness between Calauag and Sipocot, so we need alternative points of entry to Bicol.”

“One RORO port just before Bondoc Peninsula, along the Ragay Gulf, another one in Albay’s west coast, probably in Pantao, would effectively create an entirely new Quezon-Bicol nautical highway,” Salceda said.

Salceda stressed the importance of alternative routes, especially for food and cargo in Bicol, as the region was among the regions with the highest inflation rates this year.

“Along with Cagayan Valley, which itself is partly isolated, Bicol suffered some of the highest inflation rates this year,” Salceda said.