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GenSan’s expanded airport, new seaport operations building inaugurated

  • The General Santos Airport development project and the new seaport operations building of General Santos port were inaugurated on September 23
  • The airport’s passenger terminal building was expanded, doubling its capacity from 1.050 million passengers per year to at least two million
  • The new operations facility at the Makar Wharf comprises a port operations building that houses a port integrated clearance office and one-stop shop for all Philippine Ports Authority transactions

General Santos’ expanded airport as well as new seaport operations building were both inaugurated by the Department of Transportation on September 23.

The General Santos Airport development project involved rehabilitation and expansion of the passenger terminal building, allowing it to accommodate at least two million passengers annually from the previous 1.050 million.

The project included installation of navigational aids to help guide aircraft landing and takeoff. A new Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines administration building housing various facilities was also inaugurated.

Considered as a key gateway to Mindanao, General Santos airport serves the provinces of South Cotabato, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, and General Santos (SOCCSKSARGEN).

New port building

On the same day, the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) unveiled the new port operations building complex of General Santos port, more popularly known as Makar Wharf.

The new building complex is expected to improve ease of movement of vessels, cargo, and other port-related traffic.

“We are upgrading the terminal in order to become a one-stop-shop not only for conventional cargoes and traditional vessels but also for containerized cargo and panamax and post-panamax vessels,” PPA general manager Jay Daniel Santiago said in a statement.

“In the meantime, this new facility that we are inaugurating today will cut transaction time with the agency into half, facilitate the commercial turnaround of vessels while promoting better safety and security for all port users transacting with the port,” Santiago said.

The facility comprises a port operations building that houses a port integrated clearance office, a one-stop shop for all PPA transactions like marine and terminal services, berthing, public assistance and complaints, and assessment and collection services, among others.

It features a multifunction sports facility which doubles as a venue for meetings and controlled gatherings in compliance with the new normal.

Among products that pass through the port headed for international markets are tuna and its by products, pineapples, bananas, and other products from SOCCSKSARGEN.

General Santos port handled 1.700 million metric tons of cargo as of June 2021, half its annual average of 3.4 MMT of cargoes. In 2020, the port processed 3.438 MMT, 4% below its pre-pandemic level of 3.594 MMT.

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