Lucena port project inaugurated

The old Lucena port (top photo) and the new one. Photo from the Facebook page of Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade.
  • The new Port Management Office of Quezon/Marinduque Regional Office and other development projects were inaugurated at the Port of Lucena on Sept 25
  • The projects include a 2-story port operations building and a new pier
  • The projects address congestion issues at the Lucena port

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) unveiled on September 25 the newly built Port Management Office (PMO) of Quezon/Marinduque Regional Office and other development projects at the Port of Lucena in Quezon.

The projects include a two-story Port Operations Building (POB) covering 1,537 square meters, an additional reinforced concrete pier, back-up area, and mooring and fendering system.

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade led the inauguration ceremonies. He was joined by Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) general manager Daniel Jay Santiago and local government officials of Quezon Province.

PPA previously rented a commercial building in Lucena City.

With high concentration of passengers and rolling cargoes bound for Marinduque and Romblon, the new pier facility will address congestion at the port as it offers additional berthing space for vessels, Santiago said.

The developments will make the  port more capable of handling bigger vessel calls and larger rolling cargoes, as the country transitions to the new normal, he added.

“Lucena port is very vital to the economies of Quezon, Marinduque and Romblon. However, it is bugged by some congestion not only during peak seasons but almost through the whole year thus, choking the growth of the three provinces. This, we wanted to address swiftly,” Santiago said.

“Now, with the new pier already in place, vessel congestion is expected to ease and likewise ensure faster commercial turnaround of vessels. Eventually, this will translate to more vessel frequencies which will result in higher volume of cargoes and passengers for the port, as well as provide opportunity for growth on areas where the port is interconnected.”

DOTr noted the projects are expected to bring down the cost of logistics and shipping fees at the Port of Lucena.

The average annual passenger volume for the terminal is 925,000 or about half of the consolidated volume at PMO Quezon/Marinduque at 1.815 million.

Rolling cargoes average 131,000 each year representing 50% of the overall annual Ro-Ro traffic for the entire PMO.

Lucena handles about 6,000 shipcalls every year, almost 50% of the consolidated shipcalls handled by the PMO at 12,500.

PNR Bicol inspection

Meanwhile, Tugade also inspected on Sept 25 the Lucena station of the Philippine National Railways (PNR) South Long-Haul Project or the PNR Bicol.

The Lucena segment is one of 35 stations of the PNR Bicol – a 560-kilometer long-haul rail line connecting Metro Manila to Southern Luzon provinces.

Partial operations of the San Pablo, Candelaria, Lucena and Pagbilao stations are eyed before the end of the Duterte administration next year, Tugade said.

Once fully operational, PNR Bicol promises to cut travel time from Manila to Bicol from 16-18 hours to six hours using regular trains and 4.5 hours using express trains.