CPA expands space for ships, reopens Punta Engaño port

THE Cebu Port Authority (CPA) has completed the repair and expansion of the reinforced concrete deck, which it unveiled at Berths 29 and 30 at the Cebu Baseport in the area behind the Malacañan sa Sugbo on Friday, Dec. 9, 2022.

The project, worth P80.8 million, is important for the expansion of services at the CPA since it will provide more berthing space for ships in the Cebu Baseport, shortening or eliminating vessel waiting time.

The new facility in the CPA is reserved for tramp vessels that usually travel within the Philippines but do not always anchor at the Cebu port, loading cement, steel rods, rice, animal feeds, wheat and other cargo.

CPA Acting Deputy General Manager Glenn B. Castillo said the modified and expanded port facility can handle two conventional cargo vessels at any time and it is estimated that they can land 240 ships in one year with a load of 400,000 metric tons of cargo, which would enable the Port of Cebu to increase its income.

“It is undeniable that the Port of Cebu has endured the impacts of Typhoon Odette, but we are very happy that CPA was able to bounce back and build better to deliver safe, effective and efficient port services to our local and international port stakeholders,” Castillo said.

The project was started on Nov. 4, 2021 and was turned over by the contractor to CPA on Oct. 27, 2022.

Invited to the inauguration and blessing was Rep. Rachel Marguerite del Mar (Cebu City, first district), daughter of the late congressman Raul del Mar, who was the father of the bill that created the CPA.

The CPA also said it had completed nine repair projects of damaged port facilities nearly one year after Typhoon Odette (Rai) slammed into Cebu while another five repair projects are still ongoing and scheduled for completion by the first quarter of 2023.

The CPA allocated a total of P244.8 million for the repair and rehabilitation of eight CPA-managed port passenger terminal facilities and six berthing facilities.

Punta Engaño port

Earlier in the day, the CPA also held a blessing ceremony at the Port of Punta Engaño in Lapu-Lapu City.

Operations are back at the Port of Punta Engaño in Lapu-Lapu City almost a year after these were halted due to the damage to the facility brought by Typhoon Odette.

The CPA and stakeholders held a blessing and ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday, Dec. 9, of the newly completed passenger terminal building, which has about a 200-passenger capacity.

It took about six months to complete work on the damaged passenger terminal building and covered walk.

Engineer Sofronio Magdadaro, CPA engineering department manager, told SunStar Cebu that the renovation started on April 11 and was completed on Oct. 5.

Magdadaro revealed that the cost of the repair was P7,549,583.95, which was sourced from the CPA Corporate Budget.

He said they are happy to bring the operations back to normal to cater to passengers, including Korean tourists.

CPA Public Information Officer Maryknoll Bolasa said the Port of Punta Engaño accommodated about 500,000 passengers in 2019 or before the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic struck in 2020.

“At least we have provided comfort, convenience para nila by having these facilities presentable,” Magdadaro said, adding that the business in the city will also go back to normal following the operation of the newly completed roll-on, roll-off (roro) ramp.

Magdadaro said this will help the Lapu-Lapu City Government, as Olango Island will now have a regular supply of goods from the mainland.

Aside from trips to and from Sta. Rosa in Olango Island, Magdadaro said the Punta Engaño-Getafe, Bohol trips will be back soon.

Balosa said the port was not utilized during its repair and rehabilitation as it had been totally damaged.

She said passenger vessels bound for and from Olango Island were temporarily docked at the Angasil Port in Barangay Mactan while the roro vessels were docked at the Cordova Roro Port.

Balosa noted that the vessels were back to their operations at the Port of Punta Engaño last week.

Meanwhile, Magdadaro said the renovation of the port in the Camotes Islands is still ongoing but is near completion.

“Gawas sa Camotes (Except for the one in Camotes), all the rest operational na,” he said, explaining that only the Camotes and Punta Engaño berthing facilities under CPA were severely damaged during the typhoon.

He said only buildings were damaged in the other ports under CPA, including the base port in Cebu City.

Last April, Bolasa said that aside from Pier 1 at the Cebu Baseport, six of their subports were undergoing repair due to damage by Odette: the Ports of Punta Engaño and Muelle Osmeña in Lapu-Lapu City; Port of Poro in the Camotes Islands; Port of Tangil in Dumanjug; Port of Danao City, Cebu; and Port of Taloot in Argao. (PAC / CTL, MKG)