PB supports Cordova on international port project

By Michelle Joy L. Padayhag, Victor Anthony V. Silva |April 07,2015 - 11:28 PM

The Cebu Provincial Board (PB) unanimously approved last Monday a resolution authorizing Cordova town to negotiate with a major developer for a 1,500-hectare port project in barangay Gabi.

The resolution authored by PB Member Arleigh Sitoy involves an unsolicited proposal from SM Prime Holdings to build a port capable of servicing international cruise ships.

“The project will cost P138 billion and is among the biggest projects that we will work with,” Cordova Mayor Adelino Sitoy told reporters in yesterday’s 888 News Forum at the Marco Polo Hotel.

Sitoy issued a certificate of acceptance to SM Prime Holdings last March 3.

He said he hopes the port project will provide employment to 2,000 fisherfolk in Cordova town.

Imperative

The PB resolution was approved despite opposition from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

Eddie Llamedo, regional DENR spokesperson, said the Cordova municipal government needs to apply for an environmental compliance certificate (ECC) if it pursues the project.

Mayor Sitoy said the port project was planned during the time of then governor and now Rep. Gwendolyn Garcia of Cebu’s 3rd district.

The project will be undertaken through a private-public partnership and also involves the provincial government which will receive a share of the profits to be generated through the joint venture.

In his resolution, Sitoy who represents Cebu’s 6th district that includes Cordova, said it is imperative that the provincial government assist Cordova town in pursuing the project.

Impact assessment

Sitoy said the PB will facilitate the collaboration between SM Prime Holdings and the province for the implementation and sharing of revenue generated by the port project.

The PB will also require the Cordova municipal government to comply with documentary requirements including terms of reference for the partnership, an environmental impact assessment, and livelihood project plan in the event of displacements, among others.

Mayor Sitoy said he will ask SM to prioritize hiring of Cordova residents and finance an education program for his constituents.

He added he’s hopeful that the project will start within this year.

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