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President Aquino inaugurates Manguino-o Port extension, passenger terminal building in Calbayog City

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President Benigno S. Aquino III giving speech during the inauguration of the newly constructed Passenger Terminal Building and pier extension of Manguino-o Port in Calbayog City, Western Samar. (Screenshot courtesy of www./rtvm.gov.ph)

President Benigno S. Aquino III giving speech during the inauguration of the newly constructed Passenger Terminal Building and pier extension of Manguino-o Port in Calbayog City, Western Samar. (Screenshot courtesy of www./rtvm.gov.ph)

CALBAYOG CITY, Apr 26 (Mabuhay) – President Benigno S. Aquino III led the inauguration Friday of the Manguino-o Port pier extension and passenger terminal building in this city, which is expected to boost trade and tourism in Northern Samar and nearby areas.

In his message during the inauguration, the President said the pier extension and bigger passenger terminal area will mean better transport service for Calbayog City as it does business with the other provinces.

“Malinaw ang pakinabang na hatid ng isang mas malawak at mas modernong Manguino-o Port: mas maraming barko ang dadaong sa inyong bayan para magdala ng iba’t ibang produkto sa inyong lalawigan; ang mga produktong dito naman ginawa, tulad ng inyong napakasarap na tinapa, mas madali nang mailuluwas sa iba pang lugar,” he said.

With the opening of the new facility, the President expressed confidence that more tourists will visit Calbayog City that will eventually mean employing more people in the tourism sector. According to a project briefer, the Manguino-o Port was identified as an alternate port to Calbayog Port in August 2000 because of Calbayog Port’s siltation problem that needed dredging every three years. Located 22 kilometers from the Calbayog Port, the Maguino-o Port is a deep water port (approximately six meters depth) that does not require frequent dredging making it more practical for port operators.

The government allocated P20 million for the construction of the Manguino-o Port in 2000 and the project was completed in October 2003. In January 2012, the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) started a P38.5-million extension of the pier and passenger terminal building of the Manguino-o Port. Extension works were completed February 2013. The construction of the pier and the passenger terminal increased the size of the facility from 300 sq. m. to 406 sq. m. thus increasing its seat capacity.

With the extension of the pier, the port can now accommodate longer vessels and the construction of a bigger passenger terminal building could provide comfortable and safe temporary shelter for passengers.

The Manguino-o Port will serve as an entry point for passengers and cargo going to and from Calbayog City and neighboring municipalities of Samar and Northern Samar. The port also has economic benefits as it employs 150 people such as dock workers, delivery groups, vendors, porters, and local transport operators.

The Manguino-o Port can handle 62,000 passengers per year, 1,500 twenty-foot equivalent units of cargo, 500 ship calls per year and vessels with a maximum size of 1,400 gross register tons/deadweight tons, the project briefer said.

The facility also has a 57-meter berthing area composed of two berths. It has a 3,000 sq.m. open-storage area and a 14.4 sq.m. port operations building.

A shipping line operates the Cebu-Manguino-o route three times a week, bringing 1,280 passengers and 378 metric tons of cargo. Tramping vessels also dock at Manguino-o Port three times a month bringing 198 tons of cargo that includes sugar, steel products, animal feed, copra, cement and flour.

In addition to the current improvements, the Aquino administration has spelled out other initiatives to further enhance the port’s operations. These include the construction of a P47-million back up area, which will be implemented from April to December 2015.

The government is also allocating P10 million for the construction of a fence and the installation of lighting and water supply facility. Works are expected to start in August this year and it is seen to be completed by December this year.

Aside from the port project, the President announced other projects in the pipeline for Samar province. These projects include the Catbalogan Diversion Road and several other national secondary roads in Samar and Eastern Samar. These infrastructures are part of the Samar Road Rehabilitation Project.

Other projects also include the Samar Pacific Coastal Road Project that connects Northern and Eastern Samar.

“Oras na matapos ang mga proyektong ito, tiyak pong mas magiging mabilis at mas komportable ang pagbiyahe sa inyong bayan. Ang hatid nito, kaunlarang buong-buong matatamasa ng kalakhang Samar,” the President said. (MNS)

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