THE Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) said on Monday that it hopes to complete and inaugurate 31 more port projects before President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s term ends on June 30.
“Katulong ng Department of Transportation (DoTr), so far, since 2016, nakatapos na ang PPA at DoTr ng 585 port projects, malaki at maliit (With the aid of the DoTr, so far since 2016, we have completed 585 port projects, large and small),” PPA General Manager Jay Daniel R. Santiago said at a televised news briefing.
“Meron pa tayong hinahandang pasisinayaan at matatapos bago matapos ang termino ng ating Pangulo sa June 30 na nasa 31 port projects (We expect to complete and launch before the President ends his term on June 30, 31 more port projects),” he added.
These port projects, according to the agency, include Currimao Port in Ilocos Norte.
The Currimao Port is “more than ready to handle bigger, more sophisticated cruise ships,” the PPA said in a statement.
Another project to be inaugurated is Bulan Port in Sorsogon, which will provide an alternative jump-off point to Masbate and Cebu.
Also to be inaugurated before June 30 are Banago Port in Negros Occidental, the Ports of Baybay and Palompon in Leyte, and the completion of the passenger terminal buildings in Batangas and Calapan ports, “which will be… two of the biggest terminals in the country.”
“The projects that were completed also prepared the country to take in the shipping and logistical demand both from local and international players in the short- to mid-term as the world transitions to the (new) normal,” Mr. Santiago said.
Between 2016 and 2021, the PPA transferred P43.98 billion to the Treasury from taxes collected, paid and dividends remitted.
“The amount is P12.93 billion or 41.64% higher compared to the total contribution paid to the government from 2010 to 2015,” it said.
It said it incurred P19.87 billion in expenses to complete 240 port projects between 2016 and 2021. These 240 are part of the 585 port projects completed under the administration’s infrastructure program.
“We… increased the percentage of the dividend remittance from 57% in 2020 to 60% in 2021 to help the government in its (coronavirus) response,” Mr. Santiago said, adding that the ports were sufficiently flexible in delivering services as the recovery from the pandemic gained momentum, Mr. Santiago noted. — Arjay L. Balinbin