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Proposed int’l port project seen to get Neda Board nod

By: Victor Anthony V. Silva September 26,2016 - 09:41 PM
General Manager Edmund Tan of the Cebu Port Authority (4th from left) answers questions from the media during the Kapihan sa PIA. Yesterday’s Kapihan was also attended by Marina 7 Director Nanette Villamor Dinopol (3rd from left) (CDN PHOTO/LITO TECSON).

General Manager Edmund Tan of the Cebu Port Authority (4th from left) answers questions from the media during the Kapihan sa PIA. Yesterday’s Kapihan was also attended by Marina 7 Director Nanette Villamor Dinopol (3rd from left) (CDN PHOTO/LITO TECSON).

THE proposed Cebu International Port project will likely be approved by the National Economic Development Authority (Neda) Investment Coordination Committee-Cabinet Committee (ICC-Cabcom).

General Manager Edmund Tan of the Cebu Port Authority (CPA) said he was optimistic that the project would be approved without hitches.

Tan said his agency would be ready to answer questions during the deliberation since the proposed P9.13-billion project was already approved at the technical board level earlier this month.

“Some issues were raised during the earlier deliberation, but we have already complied with those,” he said during a press conference to kick off the 2016 National Maritime Week celebration in Cebu City on Monday.

Among these issues were the application for an Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, endorsement from the Philippine Reclamation Authority, and determination of sources of filling materials for the reclamation component of the project.

The proposed project will be discussed by Neda ICC-Cabcom on Wednesday (Sept. 28) at the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas in Manila.

Tan said once the ICC-CabCom approves the proposed project, it would be sent for approval to the NEDA Board, chaired by President Rodrigo Duterte.

The ICC-CabCom consists of the Secretary of Finance, as chairman; the Neda Director-General, as cochairman; and the Executive Secretary, the Secretaries of Agriculture, Trade and Industry, Budget and Management and the Governor of the Central Bank of the Philippines, as members.

Tan said he was also confident that the proposed project would not be held up by hurdles once it reaches the Neda Board for approval.

A 12-hectare site in Barangay Tayud, Consolacion is being eyed as the site for the new international container port, the construction of which is seen to decongest the existing port at the North Reclamation Area in Cebu City.

Tan added that funding of the project would come from the Korean Official Development Assistance and a counterpart fund from the Philippine national government.

“The new port with its complete facilities will be exclusive for containers. The existing port will be maintained to handle bulk cargo,” he said.

The port official said the new port is seen to decongest the existing container port and lessen queueing time for ships due to limited berthing space.

Neda Central Visayas Director Efren Carreon earlier said that should the project be approved by President Duterte before this year ends, work on the facility may begin some time in 2017.

The feasibility conducted by the Korean Export-Import Bank stated that the port would be completed 35 months from construction.

Consolacion Mayor Teresa Alegado, for her part, said she would just wait for the decision on the proposed project.

“Since we are only the recipient, there is nothing much we can do but wait,” Alegado said in a phone interview.

She, however, hoped that it would be implemented the soonest because it would benefit the whole province of Cebu.

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