Improving The RNH
Republic Nautical Highway (RNH) enables passengers from Luzon specifically from Metro Manila to visit the Visayas provinces and return to their respective homes alternating land and water transportation travel. The transport of cargoes will be secured. The RNH starts from Metro Manila. It passes the South Luzon Expressway in Rizal, Laguna, Batangas, and Batangas City. It passes Panay Island and traverses the sea to Negros Island.
In Batangas City, the vehicles such as buses, cars, vans, trucks and trailers among others are loaded in the Roll On Roll Off (RORO) boats bound to Calapan City, Mindoro Oriental where these vehicles are unloaded. These vehicles which destinations are beyond Mindoro will be loaded in another RORO boats in the pier in Dangay, Roxas, Oriental Mindoro destined for Caticlan Jetty Port, Malay, Aklan. Others which destination is Romblon are loaded to another RORO vessel bound for Odiongan, Romblon.
These vehicles which destinations are in the provinces of Panay and Negros Islands are unloaded in Caticlan Jetty Port, Malay, Aklan. These vehicles of various sizes, length, and weight use the roads in Aklan, the length of which is about 110 kilometers from Caticlan, Malay, to the Aklan – Capiz boundary in Altavas, Aklan.
As stated, those vehicles are of various sizes, length and weight. They range from cars, multi cubs to passenger buses, cargo trucks, and trailers.
Is the road condition in Aklan, specifically the Kalibo – Altavas portion fit and appropriate for huge buses, trucks and 12 wheeler trucks? A big no.
Last week, there was a Ceres bus and passenger jeep collision. Several persons were wounded and two passengers died.
The road is too narrow, the cement/asphalt is thin (4 inches) for the huge and heavy trucks, with inadequate road signage. The wiring of public utility services are poorly installed as some trucks are higher than the height of the wirings of electric, telephone and other services. Is this condition safe?
This week, a carpenter was electrocuted in Estancia, Kalibo. Because of very heavy load, roads are easily damaged. Some first timer drivers in Aklan lost their way to Roxas City or Iloilo for inadequate signage. Big trucks are experiencing difficulties in turning because of sharp curve. A novel example is the curve in crossing Banga, Aklan. It takes time for drivers to slow down and turn.
The concerned public officials must now pay attention to this Republic Nautical Highway. Efforts and resources must be spent to widen the roads, increase its thickness, improve the curves and install appropriate signage for safer travel for persons and secured transport of properties.
If these are done, these officials will endear themselves to the Filipinos particularly among Aklnons. The foreigners will love them too. /MP