TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, Oct. 29 (PIA) -- Pres. Rodrigo Roa Duterte led the simultaneous inauguration of Seven Seaport Development Projects (SSDP) in Bohol on Oct. 29 along with Department of Transportation (DOTr) Sec. Arthur Tugade and Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) General Manager Jay Santiago.
The SSDP is part of the Duterte administration's billion-peso worth of major seaport investments in Bohol province from 2018 until the present, said Bohol Gov. Arthur Yap.
Most of the projects under the SSDP involve government infrastructure that were damaged by the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that hit Bohol on Oct. 29, 2013.
The inauguration, according to Pres. Duterte, will establish the island-province as a catalyst for economic recovery and growth, while fulfilling mobility demands amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The SSDP projects are part of the government’s "Build, Build, Build" Program which started when Duterte took office in 2016.
The national government through the DOTr and PPA completed projects worth P796,428,106.70, its latest spending for the expansion, rehabilitation, and modernization projects of the seven Bohol ports.
Port of Maribojoc
The port of Maribojoc is the biggest funded project with P480,948,770 worth of port improvements on the existing rock causeway, which was damaged by the 2013 earthquake.
Started in 2018, the port was extended and already has a back-up area with a Roll-On, Roll-Off (RORO) ramp, port lighting system, and breasting dolphins that will keep berthing vessels from pressing into the pier, which is especially important during the habagat.
Port of Ubay
Although already built, the shallow waters of the port area discourages vessels from making ship calls at the Port of Ubay.
The government addressed this by extending and constructing a reinforced concrete pier apart from early dredging activities.
Completed in 2020, the port can now handle medium-sized conventional and RORO vessels.
With the increasing number of passengers and with the pier extension and a Passenger Terminal Building (PTB) which is soon to be completed, the government spent P95,897,552.51 for this port.
Port of Tagbilaran
Bohol’s main seaport and the base port of PPA Bohol, the Port of Tagbilaran had the biggest funding, but this was increased from 2016 to present.
The major highlights include the construction of the Port Management Office building, a PTB, covered walkways, lighting facilities, security fences, and port reinforcement after the 2013 earthquake.
With around 9,000 passengers passing through served by the 30 vessels daily to and from Cebu, Dumaguete, Siquijor, and Mindanao, the current PTB is always cramped while berthing boats sometimes need to wait until a berth is freed before they can dock.
DOTr and the PPA built additional berthing spaces for fast crafts, covered walks ways (P88,032,936.61) for a total of 16 berthing areas, excluding the six RORO berths earlier completed.
Port of Tapal in Ubay
Located a few kilometers from Ubay to the northeast is a port that mostly serves the island of Carlos P. Garcia (CPG).
Situated in one of the deepest port waters, the Port of Tapal caters to heavy cargoes brought in by vessels with indefinite schedule of calls.
Th port needed a wider and bigger back-up area for loading cargoes and RORO ramp on fill.
In 2018, the government funded P56,285,488.85 for the Tapal Seaport Development Project.
Today, the port acts as a supplementary port for Bohol’s bigger ports and now has a regular ferry service for CPG.
Port of Talibon
Serving at least eight island-barangays and a regular trip to Cebu and back, Talibon is closer to Cebu than Ubay.
With the island community’s dependence on this infrastructure, the safety of commuting public was a major consideration in improving the port to handle heavier cargoes and the increasing passengers, said PPA authorities.
For the sea port development, the government funded the repair of the port facilities including the port retaining walls, construction of covered walkways, security fences, guard house and gate as well as a welcome arch, allocating P27,675,111.50.
Port of Jagna
The port of Jagna is Bohol’s main gateway to Mindanao.
About 63 kilometers away, the port is directly facing Cagayan de Oro and the Nasipit Port of Butuan.
Over the years, the decades-old port gradually increased its operational area, a 400-passenger PTB, CCTV cameras, X-ray scanner, two RORO ramps, and a transit shed for perishable goods from Mindanao.
The increasing volume of passenger traffic and ship calls made it imperative for a port upgrade, PPA said.
The government put up P23,122,688.80 for the construction of a reinforced concrete wharf and port lighting facilities, refurbishing the PTB, wharf widening and electrical repair and revamp for the facilities that were completed in 2020 and are expected to increase passenger volume, ship-calls, and RORO traffic.
Port of Catagbacan in Loon
Identified as a cruise ship port in Bohol, the Port of Catagbacan in Loon continues to get national government funding in support of tourism as well as inter-island traffic to Argao, Cebu.
Recently, however, in line with its accreditation as an international port of call to cruise ships, the government put up P14,465,598.42 for a new PTB that should give local transients and tourists comfort and convenience while waiting for their trips.
The project was completed in 2019.
According to Santiago, the projects would help prepare the province to handle future mobility and connectivity demands not only in the Visayas region but also to the rest of Mindanao and Luzon.
Duterte lauded the DOTr and the PPA “for successfully completing the projects that mark another milestone under our Build, Build, Build program.”
“The constructions and repairs done in these ports will allow Bohol to accommodate more people and goods from neighboring provinces and contribute much to the province’s recovery from the pandemic. I am also confident that these ports will strengthen the capacity of Bohol as a catalyst of economic growth in Central Visayas,” Duterte said.
The Bohol seaport projects form part of the 472 commercial and social-tourism port projects completed by the DOTr and PPA under the "Build, Build, Build" program since the Duterte administration took over in 2016. (RAHC/PIA7 BOHOL)