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PIA Press Release
2009/10/14

PPA integrates Dapitan Baseport to Southern Mindanao

Dapitan City (14 October) -- Philippine Ports Authority Port District Office-Southern Mindanao (PPA PDO-SoMin) observed here the inauguration of its newest family member: the Port Management Office (PMO)-Dapitan in formal rites held at the Dakak Park and Beach Resort on September 30, 2009.

With the program dubbed as "PMO-Dapitan-Gearing Up for a New Beginning", the inauguration also doubled as a turnover ceremony for the transfer of its jurisdiction to PDO-SoMin which is based in Davao City from formerly being part of the PDO-Northern Mindanao (NoMin) located in Cagayan de Oro City. Dapitan used to be a terminal port under the PMO-Ozamiz which is part of the territory of NoMin.

PDO-SoMin Port District Manager Abdussabor Sawadjaan revealed that what the guests witnessed was a symbolical gesture to formalize both the launching of Dapitan as a PMO and its turnover to the SoMin area of responsibility. He stressed that a working relationship with SoMin has already been in place since 2008. In fact, the newly-created PMO was already included in SoMin's 2010 Annual Plans and Programs budget deliberation held earlier on September 23-24, 2009 in Davao City.

Now officially functioning as a PMO, Sawadjaan added, Dapitan would be the fifth constituent of the major PMOs of SoMin, namely, Cotabato, Davao, General Santos and Zamboanga which are also called as baseports of the PPA Port System. It will also wield greater influence as its maritime territory and administrative scope expands. As such, more port infrastructure projects and funding will be poured in by the Authority for its holistic development.

Among the local officials present during the ceremonies were Zamboanga del Norte Provincial Board Member Atty. Edgar Baguio and Dapitan City Vice Mayor Patri Bajamunde-Chan. PDO-NoMin was represented by Management Services Division Manager Lolita Cabanlet and PMO-Ozamiz Port Manager Noeme Calderon.

Dapitan was upgraded into a PMO from its Terminal Management Office (TMO) status through a Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Memorandum Order No. 2008-D00742R in July 28, 2008 approved by no less than the President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. PPA issued Special Orders No. 2009-128 and 2009-310 for its transfer to the SoMin District to heed stakeholders' request citing better coordination with the rest of the Zamboanga Peninsula ports and terminals. The transfer was also endorsed by the Regional Development Council-IX.

PMO-Dapitan evolved from being a terminal also known as Pulawan Port from the vernacular "pulaw", meaning to stay awake even during the wee hours of the night since its location has been customarily known having a prominent lighthouse to guide sailors in transit.

It is hugely popular as a heritage destination due to its historical links with the Philippine national hero Dr. Jose Rizal's four-year exile there in the 18th century from 1892 to 1896. Its city government still retains the memorabilias and authentic pieces in its museums and landmarks of the said period, hence, the continuous influx of both foreign and local tourists.

At present, Dapitan baseport is a viable conduit of the Strong Republic Nautical Highway (SRNH) using the Road Roll On-Roll Off (Ro-Ro) Transport System (RRTS). It serves as the last leg of the Western Nautical Highway which connects seven other local routes from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, and vice versa, namely: 1) Batangas City; 2) Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro; 3) Roxas, Occidental Mindoro; 4) Caticlan, Aklan; 5) IloIlo City; 6) Bacolod City and; Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental. As such, it offers more affordable sea transport with the least possible time involved – a maximum of four hours for each stopover, thereby also ushering in brisk domestic trade and commerce.

There is a daily trip from Dapitan City to Dumaguete City in the Visayas island which actually takes only one hour via fastcraft leaving at 12:00 noon. There are five other daily trips to the same city using Ro-Ro vessels with conventional speeds starting at 8:00 a.m. up to 8:30 p.m. Dapitan's proximity to other city-destinations such as Dipolog, Ozamiz, Pagadian and Zamboanga as well as the towns of Ipil, Malangas and Margosatubig also makes it an excellent alternative route for those who wish to maximize sea travel and inland adventures.

SoMin's newest PMO is currently headed by Acting Port manager Atty. Roger Asprer, who together with nine (9) regular staff, also supervises the terminal ports of Liloy and Sindangan - both in Zamboanga del Norte Province, the municipal ports of Roxas, Sta. Maria in Siocon municipality and Galas in Dipolog City, and two registered private ports. (PPA-SoMin) [top]

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