DOTC sees approval of Davao port expansion

Subscribe Now November 25, 2013 at 07:50am

THE Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) is set to submit its proposal for the modernization and expansion of Davao Port in Sasa to the National Economic Development Authority (Neda) for evaluation and approval, an official said.

DOTC Assistant Secretary Sherielysse Bonifacio, in an interview with Sun.Star Davao at the sidelines of the 1st Davao City Transportation Summit on Friday, said the proposal was supposed to be submitted in November, when Neda approved seven infrastructure projects, but they were not able to do it as they failed to meet the deadline set.

"We are hoping to submit the Davao port project to Neda by December for evaluation. We are hopeful that it will also be approved on the same month by the Neda board," she said.

Bonifacio said if approved in December, they will be issuing a notice to bid. By February or March, next year, they will start with the bidding.

She said no exact amount has been set for the project. But DOTC Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said during the 22nd Mindanao Business Conference in August, this year, that it will cost some P10 billion and will be subjected to Public-Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement.

She said the construction is expected to begin in 2015. The project will be a public-private partnership scheme.

Earlier, Abaya said the modernization and privatization of the Davao port will see the biggest expansion among the agency's initiatives in the improvement of transport and logistics infrastructure in Mindanao.

He said they saw the need to modernize the port to accommodate increasing cargo traffic, adding that they intend to privatize the operations and maintenance of the port to improve efficiency.

Currently, the port has a capacity of 700,000 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) but the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) forecast volumes to increase to 1.2 million TEUs in the next five years.

They hope to finish the project by the end of President Benigno Aquino III's term.


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