Proposed Davao int'l cargo terminal to open next year

Subscribe Now May 21, 2012 at 12:08am

The P2.7-billion Davao International Container Terminal currently being constructed here, about 40 kilometers from Davao City’s downtown, is expected to open in the middle of next year. The container terminal, to be run by San Vicente Terminal and Brokerage Services Inc., will be among the most modern facilities in the country and will provide Mindanao a "competitive infrastructure" for easy cargo movement, said Anthony Alexander N. Valoria, president of Anflo Investment and Management Corp., San Vicente Terminal’s parent company.

During the project’s groundbreaking ceremony held last Friday, Mr. Valoria told BusinessWorld the project will have two phases.

The first phase is expected to be finished by the first quarter of 2013 and the second phase, after one year.

"This (project) is important since this will help make the Davao region and Mindanao globally competitive," he said.

The project sits on a 20-hectare property. If there is a need to expand the terminal, the company is ready to provide locators with another 50 hectares, Mr. Valoria added.

Acting customs collector Martiniano M. Bangcoy earlier said the project would help buoy the economy of the region and would slowly decongest government-run wharves in Sasa and Sta. Ana, both in Davao City.

Mr. Bangcoy had said that because of the absence of new container terminal facilities, the Bureau of Customs could not increase its tax revenues from the region.

The construction of the container terminal, which will be undertaken by Aboitiz Group’s Metaphil International, Inc., is expected to peak in August, said Napoleon R. Pe Jr., president of the construction firm.

Mr. Pe said the Cebu-based company has started hiring local workers, with total number expected to reach 350.

"We have prioritized hiring local workers because it will be very costly for us to bring in our own workers," he said, pointing out that only highly technical jobs would be undertaken by in-house employees.

The container terminal project will also become a venue for the training of local workers. "They will be leaving with skills that would make them much better paid," Mr. Pe said.

Among those who welcomed the project was Panabo City Mayor Jose L. Silvosa, Sr., who said the project would not only mean additional revenues for the 11-year-old city.

It will also serve as the city’s "advertisement" to attract prospective investors, he said.

"Our dream of becoming the hub of agro-industrial development is already coming true," Mr. Silvosa told BusinessWorld, as he joined Anflocor Group’s founder Antonio O. Floirendo, Sr. and others in the ceremonial groundbreaking.

Mr. Valoria said the project -- to be bankrolled by Bank of Philippine Islands and Security Bank -- will erase the "logical disadvantage" that southern Mindanao is experiencing in relation to cargo handling. An international container terminal also operates in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental.

"This will result in faster growth of development of the region," he said, pointing out that the project, with a draft of 15.5 meters, can accommodate Panamax vessels, referring to large vessels named after the Panama Canal.

Based on international classifications, a Panamax vessel has a beam of 32 meters, and measures about 1,000 feet long. It is 110 feet in width and 85 feet in depth.

The project will help shippers shorten vessels’ turnaround time because the terminal will have two ship-to-shore cranes for loading and unloading cargoes, Mr. Valoria said.

The container terminal, he added, will be able to accommodate about 2,000 container vans at a given time, making cargo handling easier.

The Bureau of Customs will also transfer an X-ray machine from General Santos City to the terminals to make the examination of cargoes easier.


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