DOTr, PPA unveil seven port projects in Bohol, swift recovery from the pandemic seen

29 OCTOBER 2021, BOHOL —The province of Bohol is expected to recover swiftly from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic with the completion of seven new seaport projects.

These seaport projects, set to be inaugurated today by no less than President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, will significantly change the transportation and logistics patterns of the province to a more speedy, predictable, and cheaper transport mode.

The port projects, worth approximately P900 million, include the improvement of the Maribojoc Port, construction of additional fast craft berth at the Tagbilaran Port, construction of Reinforced Concrete (RC) pier and passenger terminal building (PTB) repairs at Jagna Port, construction of RC pier at Ubay Port, construction of Back-up area and Ro-Ro ramp at Tapal port, construction of PTB at Loon Port, and repair of port facilities and provision of a dedicated power transformer for the PTB at the Talibon port.

PPA General Manager Jay Daniel R. Santiago said PPA continues to carry out port projects despite the ongoing pandemic to prepare the country’s ports to handle future demands particularly now that COVID-19 restrictions are easing up.

“We cannot over-emphasize the importance of ports and their services in an archipelagic country like the Philippines since the majority of our islands are dependent on maritime connectivity,” Santiago said.

“These seven completed commercial port projects underline Bohol’s importance to the country’s overall supply chain as it serves as connecting hubs not only in the Visayas region but also to the rest of Mindanao and mainland Luzon,” Santiago stressed.

“Because of the leadership of no less than President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and the strong-willed guidance from DOTr Secretary Art Tugade, we were able to complete port projects of these magnitudes,” Santiago said.

He added that it is only under this administration, through its Build-Build-Build Program, that port projects were focused on port developments, port expansion, port rehabilitation, and modernization rather than just the usual repair and maintenance from the past administrations.

Among the benefits expected to be felt immediately with the completion of these commercial port projects include the faster turnaround time of vessels as it will cut or eliminate the waiting time for berth space as well as the expectations of heavier cargo volume that can be handled by the ports with their improved and expanded cargo areas. The sea-traveling public can now enjoy a more comfortable and convenient travel experience with the new and modernized PTBs and other passenger port facilities. Economies of scale can likewise be achieved through the expanded port capacity enabling the ports to handle bigger, more sophisticated conventional and Ro-Ro vessels, all translating in reduced cargo spillage, lower cargo-handling cost, reduced transportation cost, and eventually lower market prices of products.

Meanwhile, joining the President in this simultaneous inauguration are Transport Secretary Art P. Tugade, Bohol Governor Arthur C. Yap, Senator and vice-presidential aspirant Christopher Lawrence “Bong” T. Go, Presidential Adviser for the Visayas Michael Lloyd L. Dino, other members of the Cabinet, and several Local Government Officials of the province of Bohol.

The Bohol ports, all under the supervision of the Port Management Office (PMO) of Bohol led by Port Manager James J. Gantalao, are among the strong performers among the 25 PMOs under the PPA Port System due to its robust tourism industry and good trade fundamentals.

By the middle of next year, right before the term of the President ends, several port projects like the construction of a new RC Pier and back-up area at the Tagbilaran Port as well as the construction of a PTB at Ubay Port, the construction of the Port Operations Building at the Tubigon Port, and the further expansion of Jagna Port are expected to be completed, making Bohol one of the first few provinces to have undertaken significant moves to make its various ports ready and responsive to the needs of the local and international trade and tourism markets.