THE Provincial Government of Iloilo is starting to modify its proposal for the US$10-million (P451,200,000) port development in northern Iloilo which will be funded by the Korea International Cooperation Agency (Koica).

The proposal dubbed as “Northern Iloilo Comprehensive Fishery Rehabilitation and Development” is expected to benefit the hardest hit towns of Concepcion, Estancia, and Carles during the onslaught of Typhoon Yolanda.

Koica’s experts led by Deputy Resident Representative Seo Dong Sung met the municipal engineers and development planning officers of the three towns on Tuesday to discuss and identify the other documents needed to supplement the proposal.

Concepcion Mayor Millard Villanueva told Koica in a conference that the port development shall cover the expansion of causeway, construction of passenger terminal and rehabilitation of landing area, cafeteria, tourist lounge, coast guard station, water system, and parking area.

Villanueva said that the expansion is needed considering that the existing port is too crowded and it cannot accommodate the commercial vessels, including the motorboats, during low tide.

Expanding the causeway from 50 to 100 meters will also serve as slope protection.

Concepcion’s proposal is estimated to cost P100 million (US$2.2 million) and this is on top of the town’s P1-million budget for the port’s repair.

‘The town has meager budget to develop the port and we will be grateful if KOICA can help us,” Villanueva said adding that 52 percent of their population depends on fishing.

In the case of Estancia, the Municipal Government proposed to reconstruct their burned fish market, enhance their existing refrigeration and storage facility, and construct a waste water treatment plant.

Estancia Municipal Engineer Andrews Ravena said the proposal is estimated to cost P157 million (US$3.4 million).

The port development in Carles will cover the upgrading of their storage facility, expansion of causeway and landing area. Its cost estimate is similar to Concepcion.

Aside from the improvement of existing port infrastructure, the entire proposal will also include the establishment and management of marine protected areas, coral reef restoration, Dugong conservation, mangrove eco-park rehab and beach reforestation using mangrove associates. (PIO)