THE Cebu Port Authority (CPA) wants to convert the berthing area behind Malacañang sa Sugbo into a docking area for international cruise ships to promote tourism.
CPA Commissioner Mike Acebedo Lopez said the area is ideal for international cruises because the sea level is deep. It has served as the docking area for the Logos Hope ship, which sells books around the world.
Secondly, Lopez said this is near popular tourist spots like Fort San Pedro, Magellan’s Cross, Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño and the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral.
Lopez said he talked with Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat and DOT 7 Director Shahlimar Tamano to propose the use of the century-old customs building as a tourist library or entertainment center.
“That was only my suggestion during the (Cebu Port Commission) board meeting and nobody objected to it,” Lopez said.
Executive Secretary Cesar Medialdea officially returned to the Bureau of Customs (BOC) the building called Malacañang sa Sugbo. However, there was no mention of whether the berthing area would be returned to the CPA.
Conrado Abarientos, the BOC Port of Cebu cash division chief, said they are now sending engineers and architects to determine how much the government can spend for the repair of the centennial building before they return to hold office there.
Abarientos said the government allocated more than P300 million for the construction of a new BOC Port of Cebu building at Pier 2, when the old building was still occupied by Malacañang.
However, Abarientos said they will divert the funds for the repair of the old building, which was built by the Americans in 1910. (EOB)