SUAL, Pangasinan – The provincial government of Pangasinan is accepting proposals from possible investors for the establishment of an international seaport in this town.

Governor Ramon Guico III, in an interview on Tuesday, said the province now has the authority to initiate improvements in seaports.

“So, we are accepting proposals from proponents if they want to invest through probably joint venture agreement or public and private partnership with the province,” he said.

This is in line with the goal of Guico to make Pangasinan an industrial hub that is accessible by land, air, and sea.

An initial meeting for consultation with J.M. Vila Design & Consultancy regarding the project was held on July 12.

Engr. Juancho Vila, group leader of J.M Vila Design & Consultancy during the meeting, said there is a need to develop the international seaport due to congestion at Manila International Container Terminal.

He said Sual is worth considering given that it has the Sual Power Plant and with the impending construction of the Pangasinan Link Expressway (PLEX) phase 1 that would cut short travel time from the eastern and western portions of Pangasinan.

Meanwhile, the PLEX project is a joint with the San Miguel Holdings Corporation, as the winning bidder.

Guico, in a recent interview, said the province will not spend a single centavo on this project, but the province will be a major partner in terms of ownership and in terms of revenue.

He said phase one of the PLEX project will cover a 42.76 kilometer (km) stretch from Binalonan town to Lingayen town, the province’s capital.

The project will cover 6.9 km from Binalonan to Manaoag towns, then 11.30 km from Manaoag to Calasiao towns, and 2.39 km from Calasiao area to Lingayen towns, covering 22.17 km.

Under the agreement, the province will be entitled to a 5 percent share in the toll revenue and commercial development revenues of the project from the start of the concession period, he said.

“The provincial government is also entitled to the 30 percent of the earnings before taxes after the proponent has exceeded a project internal rate return (PIRR) of 10 percent,” he added.

If the PIRR exceeds 12 percent, the province will share 70 percent of earnings before tax. (PNA)