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New Lite Ferries ship to serve Oslob-Dapitan route

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Lite Shipping Corporation's first brand-new single-hull coastwise ship, M/V Lite Ferry Five, will initially serve the Oslob (Cebu) - Dapitan (Zamboanga del Norte) route.

The ship, which is scheduled for inauguration on November 18, 2019 at the Port of Cebu, arrived in the Philippines about two months after another Lite Ferries ship that served the Cebu-Dapitan route caught fire at sea.

Three passengers died when fire engulfed the M/V Lite Ferry 16 on August 27, 2019.

In a statement, the company said M/V Lite Ferry Five was completed in 2019. It was built in China, but was issued a class certificate by RINA of Italy.

It is a 75-meter long roll-on-roll-off (RoRo) passenger coastwise ship, with a gross register tonnage of 2,895 tons. It has wide passageways on its passenger decks and a spacious cargo deck that can accommodate 540 passengers and 23 10-wheeler trucks. It can sail at a maximum speed of 15 knots and a service speed of 13 to 14 knots.

The vessel was granted “pioneering status protection” by the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) for the route of Oslob, Cebu to and from Dipolog City, Zamboanga del Norte under Executive Order 909 and Memorandum Circular 2015-4.

But because of an ongoing dredging project at the Dipolog Port, the ship will temporarily take the Oslob, Cebu to Dapitan City route. This trip takes about four hours.

Other vessels were below 20 years old upon acquisition. The company, thus, boasts of having the youngest fleet in the country.

Another brand-new ship is expected to arrive in December 2019. The M/V Lite Ferry Nine is also a coastwise RoRo ferry, but will lesser GRT of 2,107 tons. It was also built in China but was issued a class certificate by the Bureau Veritas of France.

It can accommodate 400 passengers and 17 10-wheeler trucks. Deployment will be in January 2020 for the Jagna (Bohol) to and from Cagayan de Oro City (Northern Mindanao). This ship was also granted pioneering status by MARINA.

Lite Shipping has been acquiring brand-new ships in keeping with its tagline “Sailing Bigger, Faster and Better”. Other new ships include the M/V Lite Ferries 88, a twin-hull RoRo ferry and a cargo ship .

The company said seven of its ships were acquired brand-new over the past five years, including flagship vessel M/V Lite Ferry 88

The ceremonial ribbon cutting during the launching of M/V Lite Ferry Five will be led by Davao City Mayor Sara Z. Duterte-Carpio.

She will be assisted by Representative Edgar Mary S. Sarmiento, chairman of the House comittee on transportation, House of Representatives and MARINA Administrator Narciso A. Vingson, Jr.

The launching will be headed by Lite Shipping president/ CEO Lucio E. Lim, Jr. together with COO Fernando A. Inting, VP operations Jonathan Lim-Imboy, Commercial Operations head - Jethro Nathaniel Lim-Imboy. (Ventures Cebu)

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