THE Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is encouraged to look into the road networks leading to the new international port in Tayud, Consolacion to facilitate a seamless flow of transportation, an official from the Oriental Port and Allied Services Corp. (Opascor) said.
Opascor president Tom Riveral said that while construction of the New Cebu International Containerized Port is already set by August this year, the government should also look into the necessary development of new road networks to fully utilize the new port.
“Barring any problems, under the original public-private partnership (PPP) scheme, we will have a new port by July 2019. However...without the opening of new road networks, the port will be useless,” said Riveral, during the 2015 year-end press conference of the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI).
Riveral suggested the DPWH put in place container lanes in the areas going to the new port to avoid bottlenecks. He asked the CCCI, being the voice of the business community in Cebu, to specifically advocate to government agencies the new lanes to facilitate a seamless flow of traffic.
CCCI president Ma. Teresa Chan admitted that one of the challenges faced by the business sector last year was the port congestion. She said businessmen were worried knowing that the port is already 98 percent utilized.
She noted that the private sector requested to hasten the release of shipments stuck at the Cebu International Port, as impact of delayed cargoes would translate to increase of cost which would likely be passed on to consumers.
“We expect changes or developments to happen after our meeting with the stakeholders, including port officials,” said Chan.
The construction of the new port in a 12-hectare property in Consolacion is estimated to cost P9.135 billion. Under an Official Development Assistance (ODA) funding arrangement, the Philippine Government would have to shoulder around P1.268 billion or 13 percent of the total project cost.
The Regional Development Council (RDC) 7 said it has recognized the need to build a new and modern international containerized port with bigger berthing space and container yard to address the growing volume of shipments in Cebu.
Aside from handling shipments, the Department of Tourism (DOT) earlier said the construction of a new international container port in Consolacion is also seen to push the plan to sell Cebu as international cruise destination.
DOT 7 Director Rowena Montecillo said the transfer of cargoes to the new port would pave the way for Cebu International Port, or Pier 6 to become the hub for cruise liners.