Zambo-Cotabato bus route starts

COTABATO CITY — Rural Transit Mindanao, Inc. (RTMI) on Friday launched its direct bus route between the cities of Zamboanga and Cotabato, which local officials said would boost trade and commerce in the Bangsamoro region.

“It is good for the business climate of the Bangsamoro region,” said Ronald Hallid Dimacisil Torres, president of the Bangsamoro Business Council. “It will have a big impact on our efforts to boost commerce and trade in the autonomous region via durable linkages between us in mainland Mindanao and our counterparts in the Zamboanga peninsula, in Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.”

Zamboanga City is the entry and exit point for residents of the three island provinces who come to Cotabato City to transact with regional offices of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

Travel time from Zamboanga City to Cotabato City is 13 to 15 hours. The air-conditioned bus fare is P1,100 per passenger, according to an announcement by MRTI over radio stations here on Saturday.

MRTI buses from Zamboanga City to Cotabato City and vice versa will have a brief stopover in Pagadian City, capital of Zamboanga del Sur, where passengers can buy food and drinks that they can bring aboard. — John Felix Miciano Unson