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Docking areas not ready for fastcraft, barges

By: Nestle L. Semilla, Victor Anthony V. Silva February 24,2016 - 09:55 PM

FASTCRAFT and barges will be deployed in nine  days for a dry run between mainland Cebu and Mactan Island, but are docking areas in Lapu-Lapu City ready?

The Mariñas family, who owns the Kasamahan wharf near the General Milling Corp. in Barangay Pajo, said it’s ready to accommodate ferries or barges coming from the Ouano wharf in Mandaue City.

The problem with Kasamahan though is that the access road is narrow, with houses crowding each side of the road. It can accommodate only one vessel at a time.

Anton’s wharf in Barangay Ibo is bigger, but it’s damaged and located about 50 meters from land. Cebu Daily News visited the site and found that there is no concrete flooring and only some slabs remain.

Officials are considering the Naval Base Rafael Ramos in Barangay Looc as an alternative.

While Naval Forces Central (Navforcen) officials are willing to discuss the proposal, civil military operations officer Lt. James Reyes said there are many considerations, including the need for security measures.

“We can’t just say that, ‘hey, we can fit 100 barges there’,” Reyes said.

He said they would have to determine the number of barges that will be allowed, the specifications of these barges and whether a ticketing office would have to be installed in the base.

He also said the barges might not be able to dock when the tide is low and might crash into the pier when the waters are turbulent.

Access to the base is also a problem since public transportation is about a couple of kilometers away.

Lite Shipping Corp. and Ocean Fast Ferries, Inc. are willing to deploy barges and fastcraft, respectively, for the March 5 dry run.

Both have yet to secure special permits from the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) regional office to ply the Cebu-Mactan route.

Fernando Inting, Lite Shipping chief operating officer, said two barges are available to ferry 10-wheeler trucks and other vehicles. Each barge can carry seven 10-wheeler trucks and two to three smaller vehicles.

But the trucks would not be able to get to the highway from Kasamahan wharf because of the narrow road.

Inting said the alternative is to dock at either the wharf in Barangay Punta Engaño or the roll-on-roll-off wharf in Cordova town, which can accommodate two barges at a time.

“We prefer Kasamahan because it’s closer,” he said.

City Traffic Management System (CTMS) head Frank Brazil said the narrow road leading to Kasamahan might be a problem.

He said they cannot just demolish some houses since it’s a private property. But those vehicles parked along the road should be removed.

Aireen Mariñas-Narvasa, one of the owners of Kasamahan wharf, said the facility has not been widely used since the late nineties, when the Ouano wharf also stopped operating. Only a few private vessels still use the facility.

Narvasa said Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza and the City Engineering Office have inspected the wharf twice.

“Dako man nig hawan sauna pasulod diri. Nagkahuot rani kay nagpaabang na man mi diri ug nagtukod sa ilang balay. Ako pong ubang iyaan ug uyoan ilang gipadak-an ilahang balay (The road leading to the wharf used to be wide. But we have leased out portions of the property and some relatives have also expanded their houses),” she said.

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TAGS: Cebu City, Lapu-Lapu City, Naval Forces Central, Ouano wharf, Pier 1, traffic

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