Upgraded Davao seaport seen to cater to more foreign vessels
Davao City (19 February) -- Following the Php 420 million port expansion of the Sasa Wharf, the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) Southern Mindanao district office here is all set for the entry of more cargo vessels from the South East Asia, Middle East, United States (US) and the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asean Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA).
"The port can now accommodate eight ships at the same time," said Southern Mindanao Port District Manager Abdussador Sawadjaan during the port's inauguration Friday last week. President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo graced the inauguration of the Davao port expansion project which is part of her affirmative action under the Mindanao Super Region strategy.
Sawadjaan added that the port has been serving foreign vessels from Singapore, China, Middle East, Japan, Korea, United States and other domestic and local shipping lines.
Undersecretary Thompson Lantion of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) also stressed that with the expansion, Davao City can now cater more vessels from the BIMP-EAGA as Mindanao is strategically located within the sub-region.
The Port of Davao, otherwise known as Sasa Wharf, holds the distinction as the premier export and import hub in Mindanao, and ranks fourth nationwide in terms of container cargo traffic and container volume performance.
It also serves as the front liner in the exchange of commerce and trade between provinces and other parts of the country and the principal seaport for most commodities produced along the Davao Gulf.
In 2007, the port facilitated a total of 3.2 million metric tons of cargoshipments for both domestic and foreign markets.
The port has been the leading conduit of export mostly for Cavendish banana and other fresh fruit exports of Southern Mindanao.
Sawadjaan, on the other hand, is optimistic for an increase of Php 30 million in revenues this year.
"Although this is already a modest estimate considering the global financial crisis", he said.
However, the expansion could bring a six-fold increase in revenues in the coming years according to Lantion.
"This is part of the stimulus package of the government to mitigatefinancial crisis", Lantion said.
The Davao port rehabilitation and expansion project is part of the multi-billion infrastructure projects under the Mindanao Super Region which is President Arroyo's overall development strategy that aims to enhance the competitive advantage of regional groupings.
Under the Super Region strategy, Mindanao's strong potential to become the country's agribusiness center is being developed and harnessed through major infrastructure support.
Launched in 2006, the project involved the rehabilitation of 42.35 m x 18 m quay and expansion which includes the construction of 3,179 square meter Reinforced Concrete (RC) Wharf, 13,180 square meter back-up area, mooring and fendering area, drainage system, port lighting and rockworks. (PIA-MMIO) [top]