Philippines: Bohol Governor Pushes for Loon Port Development
Bohol Governor Edgar Chatto pushed anew the implementation of the phase II of the Catagbacan Cruise Ship Port in Loon town in order to further preposition Bohol in the international tourism map.
In the weekly media interaction at the Capitol dubbed ‘Kita ug ang Gobernador,’ Chatto said there is a need to complete the Catagbacan Port as the Tagbilaran City Port is too congested preventing international cruise ships fro staying in Bohol for long.
The governor cited the international cruise ship MV Minerva from Swan Hellenic Cruises which docked at the Tagbilaran City Port but only for less than a day due to port congestion.
MV Minerva docked in Bohol for the company’s 21-stop destinations which embarked from Singapore January 3 and returns to Singapore, February 12.
The cruise ship also docked in Cirebon, Semarang, Bali, Lombok, Komodo Island, Ujung-Andang, Pare-Pare, Sandakan, Sabah Indonesia before stopping in Bohol.
But owing to the problem of a severely congested port in Tagbilaran City, the cruise ship had to pull anchors in less than a day visit here and proceeded to Manila.
Because of this, the governor pointed out the need to push for and re-start for the completion and full operation of the Bohol Cruise Ship Port in Catagbacan, Loon.
Chatto said that during his time as congressman, he prioritized the development of the Catagbacan Port in Loon as a cruise ship port owing to its natural harbors, sheltered by islets and its potential to billow the sail of tourism in Northern Bohol and the province in general.
Chatto used the Districts Priority Development Assistance Fund to fund the phase 1 of the implementation of the cruise ship port.
For his part, succeeding congressman Rene Relampagos also put in PDAF funds for the improvement of the port access to the highway.
Chatto said the implementation of the project’s phase 2 is now in the hands of the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA).
Meanwhile, PPA information officer and architect Epelito Ararao, in a phone interview explained that the PPA Central Office is currently studying the move to implement the second phase of the project.
Ararao said the second phase of the project involves a berthing space extension of 50 to 100 meters, adding that most cruise ships are much longer than the currently available 80 meters.
He also said that while the harbor pilots have determined that the Catagbacan harbors are deep, the channels leading to it and the areas necessary for the cruise ships to maneuver need dredging operations, which also comprises the phase 2 of the project.
To date, the PPA, which allocates corporate funds for the project have not informed them of any development but PPA hinted that political pressure as well as possible leverage funds from local congressional sources may facilitate the quick implementation of the project.
Source: pia.gov.ph, January 29, 2013