THE Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) will privatize five major ports in the next five years, according to PPA general manager Atty. Juan Sta. Ana.
These are Davao, Cagayan de Oro, General Santos, Zamboanga and Iloilo, and they handle the bulk of passengers and cargoes in Mindanao.
"We intend to privatize and modernize at least one of these ports yearly starting next year while at the same time attend to the development of smaller but strategic ports in various parts of the country," Sta. Ana said.
The Port of Davao has an average annual cargo volume of 4.2 million metric tons (mmt);
Cagayan de Oro, 3.3 mmt annually; General Santos, 2.1 mmt; Zamboanga, 1.4 mmt annually; and Iloilo, 1.1 mmt.
Three of the five ports currently have private cargo-handling operators: Davao is handled by a subsidiary of International Container Terminal Services, Inc; Cagayan de Oro, by Oro Port; and General Santos, jointly serviced by ICTSI and Asian Terminals, Inc.
In the last eight years, PPA has invested P23.915 billion on port projects or an annual average of P2.989 billion.
As of the end of the third quarter of this year, the agency has completed 33 major infrastructure projects with an estimated cost of P1.53 billion.