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WG&A launches super ferries at Eva Macapagal terminal
Source: Manila Bulletin
Author: Arlene Dabu-Foz
Date: 2003-01-23
Endika M. Aboitiz, a fourth generation Aboitiz and currently the president and chief executive officer (CEO) of the formidable WG&A shipping firm, sums up the company’s 95th year this year as lucrative, prolific and very much into the future. A few days ago, the company launched two new vessels — Super Ferry 15 and 16 — at the newly inaugurated Eva M. Macapagal Super Terminal at Pier 15, South Harbor, Manila.

The super ferry launching coincided with the unveiling of the new Eva Macapagal Super Terminal. President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, First Daughter Luli M. Arroyo, Tourism Secretary Richard Gordon, and other travel and trade officials and top executives, graced both events, a milestone in the country’s shipping industry.

The hardworking and optimistic shipping tycoon enthused that WG&A has fi

ally moved to a new berthing site that’s very decent and passenger-friendly. It will mean more effective shipping operations at less cost, he said.

Operated by the Asian Terminals, Inc. (ATI), a reputable company in the shipping and port industry, the new 2,878 square meter terminal named after President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s late mother, rests on a sprawling, spic-and-span environs. It w

ill service inter-island travelers to and from Manila 24 hours everyday, seven days weekly.

Aboitiz said the country’s newest, biggest and world-class terminal will surely perk up domestic travel and tourism. It has certainly complemented the modernization program of the South Harbor, he said.

The R.R. Payumo & Partners-designed super terminal flaunts a fully air-conditioned lounge where p

assengers can take a breather amid better amenities such as TV sets, public telephone booths, public address systems, fast food kiosks, drinking fountains, neat rest rooms and well-organized ticketing booths.

Aboitiz strongly believes that in any reputable trade, you must have and maintain a dignified representation because money-making is not your sole concern. “It’s also about what you can

give back to the industry to lift up the national economy.”

“Our old location at the North Harbor is going to be fixed. That’s why they need to give us a new place so that we can continue with our business. We’ve always wanted to move to a new station since 1980 but with so many problems like monopoly and red tape, we were not able to do so,” said Aboitiz.

This year will be one of Aboitiz

’s busiest as plans underway include the firm’s rebranding from WG&A to Aboitiz Transport, enhancing corporate image and changing logo, upgrading freight system and beefing-up its already chunky financial portfolio. “These, among others, are what we intend to accomplish within this year,” Aboitiz confirmed.

Currently, WG&A is concentrating on propping up its tour packages for both leisure and

business markets. “We have everything from vacation and holidays to meetings, conventions and incentive travel. We also encourage families and groups to travel around a lot and bring their cars along for convenience.”

Aboitiz referred to the roll-on, roll-out (RO-RO) mode of inter-island traveling where families or big groups from any point will bring along their cars aboard the ship and sail

away to a particular destination.

For the RO-RO system, a ship like the Superferry 15 or 16 can accommodate up to 100 cars. Most group passengers find it easier to travel inter-island with RO-RO as a vehicle is always ready for land travel.

Aboitiz said Cebu, Cagayan de Oro and Davao are the top three local destinations preferred by their clientele. This only proves that the old world charm of Cebu, the alluring Cagayan de Oro and the exotic Davao never fail to capture the travelers’ fancy.

As to the WG&A’s role in expanding tourism, Aboitiz said, “We really have to develop domestic tourism as it yields so much potential. If you want tourism to work for you then you have to imbibe its culture. Tourism employs a large number of people. It’s the business where most money is spread.”

Any sturdy business, however, gets vulnerable at times. Though WG&A performed very well last year, Aboitiz admitted that the shipping company also sailed through choppy times in the past.

WG&A, admitted Aboitiz, is an enterprise that thrives on change. With an enhanced vision today, their transport group, he said “is bent on giving value to our customers, dividends to our shareholders, growth to our suppliers, a life to our team members, an example to government and a fun company to be in.”


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