THE Mindanao Business Council (MinBC) is one with the Davao City Council in pushing for the re-evaluation of the P18.99 billion Davao Sasa Port Modernization Project (DSPM), a Private-Public Partnership (PPP) project in Mindanao led by the PPP Center and the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC).
MinBC said the multi-billion project must be poured more on the tourism aspect of the modernization project such as establishing a cruise tourism terminal rather than give focus on cargo and container handling.
“We are not really opposing, we are just thinking that maybe the huge investment the DOTC would like to put in place might not be feasible, so we are saying that maybe there has to be a reevaluation of the project, we prefer to see a very modern cruise terminal that will be put there instead of spending money for the container facilities because in the very first place containers already moved to Panabo, Davao del Norte,” Vicente T. Lao, MinBC chairperson said.
Containers already shifted from Sasa port to Hijo Port when it was redeveloped with a P5.72-billion budget by the International Container Terminal Services, Inc.’s (ICTSI) and Hijo Resources Corp.
“Sasa area is also not enough for containers, but if we have a cruise terminal like in Singapore and Japan wherein going into the vessel is like going into an airport, and if you have 10 to 20,000 tourists coming to Davao every week that would even improve the economy of the city, we are more for tourism rather than cargo handling,” Lao said.
He also said that when the time the project was planned, it was when there is still massive container traffic in Sasa Port because of the bananas products but he emphasized that the scenario is different now which will necessitate for the reevaluation of the project.
“But it has reached a point when the port has become insufficient which triggers private sectors to invest in another areas, nowadays we have one of the most modern container port in Panabo, now if you look at very carefully in the project, you will notice a big part of it is for the improvement of back up areas and containers ports and extensions to accommodate containers but if you look at it, the cargoes are no longer here, they already shifted to Panabo,” he said.
“I have nothing against this development but maybe the container handling will still be in the plan but for a smaller scale, the rest of the expenditures must be poured for tourism-related cruise terminals that would bring in more revenues in the city,” he added.
The National Economic Development Authority (Neda) in Davao Region is set to organize another consultation anew on the controversial project to be held sometime in the first half of this year.
This is to clarify the proposed indicative P18.99 billion project cost and to settle issues in the project.
Meanwhile, PPP Center of the Philippines confirmed that Portek International Pte Ltd., a prequalified bidder for the Davao Sasa Port Modernization Project (DSPM) pulled out from the bidding process upon submitting formal withdrawal from the project last January 13, 2016.
Portek International Pte Ltd.-National Marine Corp. Consortium with Toyo Construction Co., Ltd. as contractor, was among the five companies that pre-qualified as bidders of the P18,99 billion modernization project.
The other pre-qualified bidders of the DSPM as disclosed on PPP Center website are Asian Terminals Inc.- DP World FZE Consortium, Bollore Africa Logistics, International Container Terminal Services, Inc., and San Miguel Holdings Corp.-APM Terminals Management (Singapore) Pte Ltd. consortium with Hyundai Development Company and Hanjin Heavy Industries & Construction Co., Ltd. as contractors.
DSPM is a project now under procurement with a structure of Build-Transfer-and-Operate (BTO) within 30 years.
According to PPP Center website “the private partner of the project will finance the construction and modernization of the existing port including the new apron, linear quay, expansion of the back-up area, container yards, warehouses, and the installation of new equipment like ship-to-shore cranes and rubber-tyred gantry over the pre-agreed concession period. The private partner will also be responsible in operating and maintaining the port.”
Source: Sun Star