LEADING shipping operator Cokaliong Shipping Lines Inc. (CSLI) holds the inauguration and blessing of M/V Filipinas Agusan del Norte today, March 5, 2022.

THE 14th roll-on/roll-off (roro)-passenger vessel in the Cokaliong fleet is also the first in the entire Philippines to have an X-bow hull design, which is advantageous in fuel efficiency and safety of the vessel at sea.

“We want to keep updating, modernizing and improving our fleet in line with the Maritime Industry Authority’s (Marina) policy of fleet modernization, and also to provide a much better choice to the riding public,” said Atty. Chesna Cokaliong, chief of staff of the founder, chief executive officer and chief operating officer of CSLI.

A total of P400 million was poured into construction of the brand new ship.

Specifications

Built in Zheijang Province, People’s Republic of China, M/V Filipinas Agusan del Norte was launched on Aug. 25, 2021. She has a gross tonnage of 6,555, an overall length of 102 meters, a breadth of 17.60 meters and passenger capacity of 998.

She has a service speed of 14 knots and runs on two units of 2,800-kilowatt (KW) Daihatsu main engines and three units of 460-KW Cummins auxiliary engines.

The brand-new ship is outfitted with state-of-the-art navigational equipment including an SSB radiotelephone, a VHF radiotelephone with digital selective calling, an Automatic Identification System, a Global Positioning System, an Electronic Chart System, Navigational Telex, an echo sounder and two radars.

X-bow hull design

The unique X-bow design or the inverted, backward-sloping ship bow design was first introduced by the Ulstein Group of Norway in 2006. The sharp design at the extreme front of the ship is meant to provide smoother movement with less slamming even in rough waters, making it more comfortable for both the crew and the passengers. It also reduces cargo shifting, noise and vibration.

Pioneer Status

This ship is internationally classed with Registro Italiano Navale (RINA), which is headquartered in Italy and is a member of the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS).

The Marina granted CSLI Pioneer Status in the routes Cebu-Nasipit-Cebu and Cebu-Nasipit-Jagna-Nasipit-Cebu. “We want to protect our Nasipit route because it has good passenger and cargo volume,” shared Atty. Chesna.

The Pioneer Status is granted to ship owners or operators who introduce IACS-classed brand-new or newly constructed ships in their respective authorized routes. The ship must also be fully manned by qualified Filipino officers and crew. Additionally, the ship’s operator must be a Marina-accredited maritime entity and an existing Certificate of Public Convenience (CPC) grantee.

Per the Marina’s Memorandum Circular No. DS-2021-03, domestic ships that have been granted to operate Pioneer Status routes shall be entitled to these incentives: non-transferable route protection valid for six years; 50 percent off on the regular fees in all applications, renewals of ship documents, licenses, certificates and permits and Annual Tonnage Fee (ATF) for six years; and the operator will be given priority in the issuance of CPCs in the routes it proposes to operate.

New features

While the brand-new ship has the same accommodation type for its Economy, its Tourist, Cabin and Suite accommodations are more luxurious and spacious compared to the other vessels in the fleet. It also boasts a restaurant, as well as a souvenir shop which will carry Cokaliong merchandise, among others.

The addition of this ship will generate employment of another 50 officers and crew members.

With the addition of M/V Filipinas Agusan del Norte, CSLI will now ply Cebu-Nasipit-Cebu six times a week from just four times a week, and Nasipit-Jagna-Nasipit twice a week from just once a week starting March 7.