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ANTIQUEÑOS GET FREE RORO TRIP ON FEB. 2 – CADIAO

A free trip await Antiqueños in Metro Manila who will take the maiden voyage of the roll-on/roll-off (RoRo) vessel owned by Starlite Ferries, Inc. from Batangas to Antique on February 2.

“Starlite will be providing a free trip for Antiqueños who had been displaced from their work in Metro Manila due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and would like to come home for good now,” Antique Governor Rhodora Cadiao said.

Cadiao said she and Antique Lone District Rep. Loren Legarda have been working with Starlite management on how many passengers could be provided with free tickets during the RoRo’s maiden voyage.

“The Starlite management is holding the maiden voyage as their birthday gift to us.”

“The Starlite management is holding the maiden voyage as their birthday gift to us,” she said.

Cadiao will celebrate her birthday on February 2 and Legarda on January 28.

The lady governor, however, said that unlike before when they would celebrate their birthdays together, this year they would only have it through the RoRo’s maiden voyage.

Meanwhile, Cadiao said she had discussed with Starlite that porterage at the Lipata Port in Caluya municipality will be handled by migrant sugar workers who have returned home to the province for good.

“I already asked Starlite to give priority to the migrant sugar applicants as porters,” she said, adding that they could help the migrants by providing them with jobs.

Cadiao also appealed to Antiqueños who will go home to Antique aboard the Starlite RoRo not to bring any pork products, such as chorizo or tocino, with them, even if they were the ones who cooked it to spare the province from the African swine fever (ASF).

“Considering that there is ASF in Luzon areas, it would be better that they don’t bring anything that could harm our hog industry in the province.”

“People might be tempted to bring home some pork by-products but considering that there is ASF in Luzon areas, it would be better that they don’t bring anything that could harm our hog industry in the province,” she said, noting that Antique remains ASF-free.

The Starlite RoRo will ply the Batangas Port to Caticlan, Aklan to Lipata Port in Culasi, Antique route.

Antique information officer Junlee Saylo said in a separate interview that they were still having meetings to set the frequency of the RoRo trips.

“We still do not know the frequency and schedule of trips of Starlite after the maiden voyage,” Saylo said.

The Provincial Tourism Office, he said, would coordinate the trips of those who want to avail of the free voyage home. 

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