BEFORE June 30, at least 13 port projects in the country will be inaugurated, some of which will improve connectivity to Cebu, the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) announced on Monday, March 21, 2022.

These include the Bulan Port in Sorsogon to provide an “alternative jump-off point to Masbate and Cebu,” and the Ports of Baybay and Palompon in Leyte to provide “trade and tourism connectivity to Cebu and Bohol,” the PPA said.

Sorsogon, located at the southern tip of Luzon, is considered the gateway to the Visayas and Mindanao through its ferry facilities located in its towns of Bulan, Matnog and Pilar.

Also to be inaugurated by the PPA and the Department of Transportation before the end of the Duterte administration are the Currimao Port in Ilocos Norte, which will be able to handle bigger cruise ships, and the Banago Port in Negros Occidental expected to improve capacity for the growing cargo traffic in the area, the agency said.

The PPA said the completion of the passenger terminal buildings in Batangas (in the Calabarzon or former southern Tagalog mainland region) and Calapan (in the Mimaropa or southwestern Tagalog region) will also usher in the opening of two of the country’s biggest terminals.

In a statement, the PPA reported spending P19.87 billion to complete 240 port projects from 2016 to 2021 that are among the 585 port projects completed under the Duterte administration’s Build, Build, Build program.

The agency also announced that over the same period it had contributed P43.98 billion to the National Government coffers in the form of taxes paid and dividends remitted.

This is 41.64 percent higher than the P31.05 billion it contributed from 2010 to 2015 despite the Covid-19 pandemic wreaking havoc on ship movement since 2020.

PPA General Manager Jay Daniel Santiago attributed the agency’s performance to “the institutional changes implemented by the current administration to fulfill the mandate of the agency to improve and build ports to properly connect the archipelago and spur economic growth among the islands.”

From 2016 to 2021, the PPA generated P34.90 billion in net income, or nearly double the P17.85 billion income it earned from 2010 to 2015.