RoRO port now under construction in Pantukan

March 3-9,2011

A Roll-on Roll-off seaport facility promised by former President Arroyo for Pantukan is now under construction, bared municipal administrator Felimon Gamad.

He said that the port was first eyed to be located in the land of another landowner in Pantukan “but he turned down the offer” and so it is now located in a coastal land owned by the family of Mayor JC Celso “Tok” Sarenas.

The mayor was out of town during Wednesday’s interview with the Valley & City Chronicle.
Gamad said that the Philipine Ports Authority (PPA) is been involved in the project.

“The project when completed can lessen the travel time of passengers going to Davao City,” he said.
“When I was still young, I and my friends managed to go ashore Samal Island using a motorized banca. It took us only about 30 minutes to go there,” he recalled their adventure.

Pantukan just faces the northeast side to the island, which can be seen from Pantukan beaches, and its Talikud Island would seem to be only an arm’s length distance in the vista.

During Arroyo’s visit to Davao City in February 2009, she promised that a part of the budget out from an Asian Development Bank loan would be allocated to Pantukan RoRo facility instead to Lupon,which was first eyed in Davao-Samal-Lupon RoRo system.

The original plan was shelved when it was known that Lupon is not one of the best places for placing a RoRo port. In the plan, RoRo port is the eastside of the island would also be built in interconnecting Davao Oriental to Davao City via Samal Island as a gateway.

At present, there are already existing RoRo ramps in Davao City and Samal both owned by the Bangayan family which operates a ferry service that connects Davao City and the Island Garden City of Samal.

In 2008 a RoRo infrastructure in Babak, Samal Island facing the Davao City mainland was also completed through PPA’s locally-funded engineering project worth P49.95 million which included a reclamation and expansion of its back-up area.

PPA said earlier that the strategic connection of Tagpopongan to Pantukan through the Road-RoRo Transport System would enable a more efficient consolidation of its distinct agricultural and industrial commodities for trading in other domestic destinations and eventually for export.

Samal Island, the nearest link between Davao City and Pantukan town, has been challenged to push for the continuous enhancement of its RoRo and road networks to activate an economic triad similar to that of Jose Abad Santos-Glan-Sarangani Cooperation Triangle (JAGS-CT).

Ro-Ro projects have always placed top priority in the PPA Port System and have been expedited to be responsive to the needs of the public and in line with the central government’s vision of linking the Philippine islands through the Road-RoRo Transport System (RRTS) in the Strong Republic Nautical Highway (SRNH) program, SoMin Port District Manager Abdussabor Sawadjaan announced in late 2009.

SRNH refers to the alliances of major and feeder RoRo capable ports linking the country’s major islands Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, and vice versa with an average of four hours per stopover. (cha monforte with PIA reports)

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