AusAID projects beef up Northern Mindanao port operations
Cagayan de Oro City (March 15) -- The government projects funded by the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) continued in Mindanao in support for the government's economic development program in the island.
In a statement, Undersecretary Virgilio Leyretana of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) said the government project funded by the AusAID now focused on the airport and seaport in this Northern Mindanao frontier city of Cagayan de Oro as well as the Mindanao Container Terminal (MCT) located at the Philippine Veterans Industrial Development Corporation (Phividec) in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental.
The Cagayan de Oro and MCT-Phividec already received a total of P750,000 equipment and capability building support.
Leyretana said the allocation is part of the P3.75-million equipment and capability building assistance to priority ports in Mindanao and Palawan such as Zamboanga, Cagayan de Oro, Davao, General Santos-Sarangani, Cotabato, and Puerto Princesa City in Palawan.
Dubbed as the "Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asean Growth Area Support", the project specifically donated a P500,000 worth of equipment support to the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) and Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippine (CAAP) in this city and P250,000 to MTC to support its capability building activities.
Leyretana said Mindanao and Palawan are gradually gaining momentum towards increasing trade, tourism and investment in BIMP-EAGA by improving the delivery services at ports.
He added that a secured, coordinated and harmonized operations at ports can attract more investors which plows back more income to the city and generates more job opportunities.
Port manager Efren Bollozos said the CCTV cameras they received can significantly help them monitor the entry and exit of passengers as well as cargo ships and goods in the seaport premises.
Bollozos said the installation of CCTV cameras came in time with the security audit of port conducted by the Office for Transportation Security (OTS), the single authority responsible for the security of all modes of public transportation systems in the country.
"We hope that people would feel secured whenever they enter the seaport premises as they are working very hard to do all the possible means of securing them," he added.
On the other hand, Cagayan de Oro Port Manager Naga Rascal also thanked AusAID, MEDCo and National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) for the medical equipment and supplies, fire hose cabinets, hydrants and extinguishers for the domestic airport.
Rascal said the medical supplies are among the basic needs of passengers at the ports.
Meanwhile, Engr. Manuel Kionisala of Phividec which manages MCT, said the installation of the radar facility at the container terminal will help ease surveillance and monitoring of port activities.
The radar, he added, was acquired several years ago yet it remained idle since MTC personnel lack the capability on how to use it.
The radar is already operating 24/7. The radar system maintains a record of activities of the sea and it monitors maritime security challenges such as transnational crimes, human trafficking, smuggling and illegal fishing, among others.
Implemented by the Mindanao Economic Development Council (MEDCo), now known as MinDA, this AusAID support program is a three-year project which is designed to facilitate the increase of trade, tourism and investment in the BIMP-EAGA. (muc/PIA-Caraga) [top]