CLARK, Pampanga -- The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has completed 129 commercial port projects under the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), and four social/tourism ports under its maritime sector in the last two years.
In 2016 alone, 68 projects amounting to PHP3.17 billion were completed, which include port expansion projects worth PHP309 million in Puerto Princesa, Palawan; PHP272 million wharf extension in La Paz, Iloilo City; and Phase III of the rehabilitation and improvement of the Tacloban City Port.
Several improvement projects were also carried out in Mindanao, which is poised to be the center of the Duterte administration’s infrastructure buildup or the “Build, Build, Build” program.
Among these projects are the construction of a passenger terminal building and installation of a lighting system in the port of Glan in Sarangani; construction of a Ro-ro ramp in Dapitan, Zamboanga del Norte; wharf extension in Masao, Butuan City; and improvement of the power system in Nasipit, Agusan del Norte.
In 2017, 40 projects worth over PHP2.9 billion were completed, which include the PHP476-million gantry crane project in Zamboanga City and PHP593-million crane project in Makar, South Cotabato; PHP157-million port expansion in Larena, Siquijor; and the PHP48-million wharf widening project in the Pasig River.
PPA General Manager Jay Daniel Santiago said the government is pouring in billions in the next five years to improve and modernize ports in the country.
“We have been injecting so much investment in our ports. We are thanking the President and Secretary Tugade for these projects. Tiyak na matutuwa ang mga residente oras na matapos ang ating mga proyekto (The residents for sure would be glad when our projects are completed),” he added.
For the first four months of 2018 alone, 21 projects have already been completed, including the provision of a baggage X-ray room at the screening area of the Dapitan Port in Zamboanga del Norte, port road widening in Dumangas, Iloilo, and alternate access road project in Iligan, Lanao del Norte.
Meanwhile, in 2017, the DOTr Maritime Sector has completed four social/tourism port projects worth PHP45 million pesos. These are the causeway construction and widening in the Badoc Port in Ilocos Norte and Mongpong Port in Sta. Cruz, Marinduque; port rehabilitation of the San Jose Port in Camarines Sur; and wharf extension of the Talisay Port in Batangas.
A total of 24 more social/tourism ports are undergoing construction, while 59 others are programmed to be constructed this year. There are 46 port development projects ongoing amounting to over PHP7.1 billion this year.
Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said better port facilities will strengthen tourism in the country and bolster the Philippines’ appeal as a cruise destination.
He also said all these were done to fulfill their promise of improving the lives of the public, by providing them with facilities that will enable them to have a comfortable and efficient travel and transportation.
“Sa pamamagitan ng mas maganda at mas maayos na mga pasilidad, inaasahan na rin natin na sisigla ang ekonomiya at lalago ang turismo sa maraming mga lugar sa bansa. Hindi na mahihirapan at maaabala ang publiko dahil sa kawalan o kakulangan ng pasilidad sa mga puerto (Through the better facilities, we would expect them to pump up the economy and tourism will grow in various parts of the country. The public will no longer be inconvenienced with the lack of facilities in the ports) ,” Tugade said. (DOTr PR)