CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu will soon have its first smart port, and it will be in the town of Liloan in northern Cebu.
Local and national officials, and executives from Topline Group of Companies inaugurated on Sunday, October 24 the causeway of Liloan’s new port, Pier 88.
The big-ticket project, funded through a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement, will soon rise in a three-hectare property in Barangay Poblacion in Liloan town, a first-class municipality located approximately 22 kilometers north of the capital Cebu City.
It is a joint venture of the local government of Liloan, Topline Group of Companies, Viking Land, and FL International.
Pier 88 is envisioned as a mixed-use development that will not only function as a pier but will also feature a mall, restaurants, and leisure spaces. Currently under construction, proponents are targeting it to be fully operational by 2023.
“Pier 88’s purpose is two-pronged — as a faster alternative route for commuters as well as an economic gateway for northern Cebu,” the press release stated.
Eugene Erik Lim, Topline CEO, said they designed Pier 88 to become Cebu’s 1st ever smart port as they planned in integrating digital technology in its operations.
“Our goal is to have an interconnected port. Pier 88 will be a smart port that will integrate a travel app, making travel easier and more convenient,” said Lim.
Aside from a travel app, designers of the project will also be employing quick-response (QR) codes and a modern ticketing system.
Pier 88 will also serve as the port-of-call for Topline’s Seabus, a 150-seater marine passenger vessel serving Liloan to Mactan Island and vice-versa.
Lim said the Seabus project aimed to cut travel time between Liloan to Mactan Island from the usual two hours to 45 minutes.
Around 10,000 passengers commute between Liloan town and Mactan Island, he said.
“If we’re going to able to capture 5,000 of our commuters and provide them a traffic-free commute, it’s a great advantage for our economy, and a great advantage for our family as well as we don’t have to grapple with stressful traffic,” said Lim in a mix of English and Cebuano.
Topline will be launching Seabus this October, and a dry run of its operations is expected this December.