THE newly completed port passenger terminal building in Dumaguete City was formally opened for operation Thursday morning.

The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) has started its operation following orders of the port district in Cebu.

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PPA port manager Renato Tolinero Wednesday received orders to operationalize the passenger terminal to cater the needs of the riding public in Dumaguete and Negros Oriental bound for any port of Manila, Visayas or Mindanao.

The passenger terminal has the setting capacity of 1,016 passengers but it can accommodate up to 1,500 passengers at a given time.

The terminal is reportedly the biggest port passenger terminal in the Visayas with floor area of 5,000 square-meter, equipped with modern facilities to include passenger and baggage scanner, CCTV cameras, nursing station, among others.

Tolinero, however, stressed that there is no authority yet to hire additional personnel such as security guards, maintenance, among others.

Governor Agustin Perdices, during his inaugural message, said an arrastre and cargo handling company has expressed its intention to operate the facility.

Reports, however, said that it has withdrawn due to the cost of operation.

Representative George Arnaiz said the terminal spent more than P81 million.

He also said that the debate in building port passenger terminal was started in 1998. The groundbreaking was held in 2004 with former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo but in a wrong location. The construction started in 2008 and was completed early this year.

Mayor Manuel Sagarbarria assured that the terminal will help draw more local and foreign tourists. (Victor L. Camion)