THE Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) is stepping up efforts to privatize at least five ports in Visayas and Mindanao.
“We are really reducing government intervention in running the ports,” PPA general manager Atty. Juan Sta. Ana said, adding that “almost all ports are expected to be (eventually) privatized.”
The privatization efforts are aimed at stimulating private-public partnership (PPP), a strategy of the Aquino administration to finance government projects like infrastructure and basic services through the assistance of the private sector.
“Hopefully we can generate enough interest from the private sector particularly from operators already running cargo handling at the ports,” Sta. Ana said.
Initially, the PPA is eyeing to privatize the ports of Davao, Cagayan de Oro, Iloilo, General Santos and Ozamiz before moving on to secondary ports.
Three of the five ports already have private cargo-handling operators. A subsidiary of International Container Terminal Services, Inc (ICTSI) operates Davao port; Oro Port runs Cagayan de Oro port; and Asian Terminals, Inc and ICTSI jointly operate General Santos.
These ports handle the bulk of local and international trade in Visayas and Mindanao.