THE town of Tudela in the Camotes Group of Islands expects a boost to its economy after the rehabilitation and expansion or Phase 2 of the Hagutapay Wharf was completed last week.
The wharf, located in Barangay Puertobello, was inaugurated on Wednesday, September 22, 2021, Sugbo News reported.
Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia led the inauguration, which was also attended by Cebu Rep. Vincent Franco “Duke” Frasco (Cebu, 5th), Provincial Board Member Red Duterte, and Tudela Mayor Greman “Jojo” Solante, among others.
The groundbreaking of the wharf’s rehabilitation took place last May after the Cebu Provincial Government gave Tudela P2.5 million for the project.
Solante said then that the town spent P2.5 million from its own 20 percent Development Fund for Phase 1 of the project.
The 20 percent Development Fund refers to the annual Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) for development projects. The Local Government Code of 1991 requires local government units to appropriate in their annual budgets at least 20 percent of their annual IRA for development projects.
With the Capitol giving P2.5 million for Phase 2 of the project, the 18-meter-wide ramp section would be completed, he said.
The ramp has a lower approach so that during low tide, passengers from Pilar town on the neighboring island of Ponson to its east would not have a hard time embarking and disembarking, the mayor said.
Solante said the wharf is very important because this is where pumpboats and small passenger vessels dock before heading for the neighboring town of Pilar and the neighboring province of Leyte, particularly the latter’s ports of Ormoc, Palompon and Isabel.
The Province of Leyte is north and east of Tudela, while Pilar town is also to Tudela’s east.
Solante told Sugbo News that most of the farmers of Tudela and the neighboring towns of San Francisco and Poro ship their livestock to Ormoc City in Leyte because they can fetch higher prices for the animals there.
They go through Tudela because this is where the Provincial veterinary clinic is located.
The municipal government of Tudela operates the wharf, which is now earning money, the mayor said.
“Port handling and stevedoring are also managed by the local government unit,” said Solante. “So the port handlers are very happy because they now have Social Security System and Philhealth benefits.”
The mayor said the wharf’s improvement could now encourage other shipping operators to launch voyages from Tudela to other places, which could boost the town’s finances.
The Capitol also gave Tudela a separate P2 million, which the town intends to use to fill the lot adjoining the wharf with soil so that it can build a concrete dike, Solante said. (CTL / PR)