The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) has proposed for a P6-billion modernization of the Sasa Wharf, a top official of the agency bared yesterday.
Analee Aguila, PPA Port Management Office head, said that Mayor Sara Z. Duterte-Carpio has endorsed the plan intended to modify the wharf so it can accommodate bigger vessels.
“The mayor probably deemed it that we should think long-term. Probably we can have the bigger vessels already so we’ll prepare for that,” Aguila said of the project as the agency submitted two proposals, with the other intended for smaller vessels.
She said the project will be in three phases with the first phase, with the budget of P2 billion, will be for the upgrading of the general cargo berth and installment of rail-mounted gantry cranes as the existing port does not have crane.
She explained that the cranes will make the utilization of the port more efficient.
The project will be presented before the city council next week.
The business sector has been pushing for the modernization of the port so that it will help enhance the economic growth of the city.
Arturo M. Milan, president of the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the port must be modernized to answer to the needs of times as he pointed out that the facility will help spur economic growth of the city because it will be able to accommodate bigger vessels.
Milan said that a modernized port is necessary for an urban center like the city because it can even help lure investors, particularly manufacturing companies that need to move their goods through sea connectivity.
The administration of then President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III tried to propose for the modernization of the facility, but the proposed budget, P18.99 billion became a contentious point.
The proposed price tag for the project at that time, prompted both the business sector and some local government officials to oppose it as the initial proposal of the PPA at that time was just about P4 billion.