THE civil works for the P109.3 million expansion project of Kawit Port in Medellin town have started, with the expectation of bringing an economic boost to northern Cebu.
Giles Anthony Villamor, municipal planning and development coordinator of Medellin, said on Monday, Dec. 4, 2023, that the project aims to provide additional docking facilities to accommodate more roll-on/roll-off (roro) vessels and conventional vessels.
Villamor revealed that only one shipping line currently operates there, covering just one route with two scheduled trips daily.
He said the development of the reinforced concrete deck expansion, along with the roro ramp, will incorporate an improved mooring structure for roro vessels to safely dock at the port facility, particularly during adverse weather conditions.
A groundbreaking ceremony was held at the construction site of the project on Dec. 1, attended by Mondigo, Fourth District Rep. Janice Salimbangon, Cebu Port Authority (CPA) General Manager Kit Comendador, and CPA Port Manager James Cirilo.
Villamor said the project, which is funded by the CPA, is expected to be completed by October 2024.
Once the project is completed, Villamor expects the port to boost the economy in northern Cebu, adding that it will complement the ongoing construction of the 583-hectare Northern Cebu Economic Zone.
The Philippine Economic Zone Authority approved investments worth P27.178 billion for the 583-hectare mixed-use development last July for the economic zone. This means many industries will soon operate in the town, transforming it from solely an agricultural town into a premier center for eco-adventure tourism, education, retirement, and agro-industry in northern Cebu.
Villamor said once the Kawit Port is ready to welcome larger vessels, it will complement the serving of the logistical needs of the economy, spanning the barangays of Caputatan Sur and Canhabagat. In the same area, the soon-to-rise Medellin Airport will also be located.
The town officer added that Kawit Port will also support the sugar industry in Medellin, which is currently experiencing a slowdown in production.
He explained that since the lone sugar milling firm in Medellin had already closed, sugarcane planters transport their harvest to Negros Occidental for processing.
However, he said that instead of utilizing their own port, planters transport the harvested sugarcanes through the port in Tabuelan in northwest Cebu. Now, with the expectation that the Kawit Port will accommodate more vessels, planters will be encouraged to use their own port, according to Villamor.
Tabuelan is located two towns south of Medellin on Cebu’s western seaboard, facing Negros Island.