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Sea transport for island communities

A small and medium-size ship builder has urged Filipino entrepreneurs and seafarers to invest in the production of sea-worthy vessels to serve the transport needs of the country’s island communities and tourism.

Retired marine chief engineer Jonathan Rogando Salvador, 48, built the first ever steel hulled RORO vessel in Aklan named M.V. Mighty Sailor. His shipyard is in New Washington, the birthplace and hometown of the late Manila Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin.

Salvador’s shipbuilding firm, Metallica Marine Consultancy Fabrication and Services, now fabricates yachts and small pleasure boats for hotels in Boracay Island, among them, the Discovery Shores Hotel and Boracay Mandarin Island Hotel. It also engages in repairs and drydocking services for shipping companies.

In addition, Salvador’s outfit had fabricated two cruise boats for its sister company, the Dumaguit-Batan Ferries Corporation (DBFC) and has recently launched the Lagatik River Cruise project in New Washington. The ventures have generate employment for hundreds of people.

Salvador’s envisions his company to be a leading builder/fabricator and supplier of safe, reliable and reasonably priced RORO vessels, cruise boats, yachts, pleasure boats and related seaworthy vessels, using innovative designs and appropriate technology to enhance safe sea travel in the country.

Since graduation from college, Salvador worked onboard ocean-going vessels and underwent extensive marine engineering study and training in Norway.

Motivated by his seafaring heart, knowledge and expertise, Salvador now rallies his colleagues and investors to promote shipbuilding in the country. He urges patriotic Filipino leaders and entrepreneurs to help provide Filipino islanders tourists safe and reliable sea transport facilities, since the Philippines is composed of over 7,000 islands. I agree that enhancing our sea transport system is necessary.

For his vision and accomplishments, the Aklan Provincial Government has conferred Salvador the honor and title of “Outstanding Aklanon in Science and Technology.

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Cabanatuan City in Nueva Ecija officially prides itself as the “Tricycle City of the Philippines” with about 10,000 tricycles plying its streets. It thus seems ridiculous that the city government bans tricycles from passing through the streets surrounding its public market just to convey market-goers and their cargo.

What makes the whole thing more anomalous is that city authorities allow cars and vans to park three-vehicles deep along the same streets, prompting ordinary market-goers to complain why they are treated as second rate citizens compared to car owners. What gives? (Johnny Dayang)