The Cebu Port Authority (CPA) is planning to transfer Cebu Port’s container terminal to a new location to decongest the existing wharf, with groundbreaking possibly before the end of the term of Philippine President Benigno Aquino.
The planned transfer was announced by Transport Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya at the April 3 inauguration of Cebu International Port (CIP) Terminal 1.
In a text message to PortCalls, CPA deputy general manager Atty. Yusop Uckung said the plan was spearheaded by CPA and is supported by the DOTC, its mother agency.
Uckung said the project has been approved by the Cebu Port Commission board and CPA is now looking for overseas development assistance (ODA) funding.
CPA plans to transfer the container port to Tayud, Consolacion, eight kilometers away from the Cebu International Port.
Uckung said the first phase of the project will cost P9 billion.
The port executive said the DOTC did not mention a target date for the transfer but “CPA sees that before PNoy’s (President Benigno Aquino) term ends we can have groundbreaking already.”
He noted stakeholders are in favor of the transfer.
Uckung said one of the reasons for the transfer is to decongest CIP and “spur maritime commerce for Cebu.”
He noted that Tayud has a 14-meter draft. CIP’s draft is under 8.5 meters while the domestic port zone is even shallower at under 6.5 meters. Another Cebu wharf, Luym Port, has a 12.19-meter draft, he said.
CPA general manager Edmund Tan in a text message to PortCalls welcomed the planned transfer, noting it was “a good idea to have a new container port and the location best suited for this is in Tayud, Consolacion.”
He noted a feasibility study has been made on the project by the Japan International Cooperation Agency in 2002 and “we are working to realize this hoping it will be completed by the end of the term of PNoy.”
JICA estimated the project to be worth P10 billion.
Tan said an expansion is in order, with CIP already heavily congested.
According to him, the port was designed to handle only around 250,000 twenty-equivalent units (TEUs) per year when it opened more than two decades ago; it is now handling 300,000 TEUs.
The new terminal’s capacity is eyed at 500,000 TEUs, he said.
“We have to go to other places for expansion as CPA has no more room to expand at the port.”
Terminal 1 inauguration
Meanwhile, the new Terminal 1 was soft-launched in November last year and began regular operations on Nov. 21.
However, due to the earthquake and supertyphoon that struck Cebu successively during the last quarter of 2013, the terminal’s inauguration was held only last April 3.
Dubbed as Terminal 1, the building has a gross floor area of 2,688 square meters and houses a fully air-conditioned pre-departure area with rows of four-seater gang chairs for outbound passengers traveling to the neighboring ports of Calbayog, Dapitan, Dumaguete, Tagbilaran, Tubigon, Getafe, Bacolod, Larena, Maasin, Ozamiz, Palompon and Surigao.
The terminal boasts of a spacious lobby that houses the Pier 1 management office and a send-off area where outbound passengers can collect their terminal fee stubs from a designated booth and buy last-minute food and hygiene needs from a canteen before proceeding to the pre-departure area.
CPA said Terminal 1 is also equipped with wi-fi internet connection and gender-sensitive facilities that are among the first of their kind in the history of seaport passenger terminals in the region, if not the country.— Roumina M. Pablo