March 15th, 2011

Private Sector Investments to boost Maritime Industry in the Philippines

The Philippine government is expecting more private sector investments for the port and maritime sector in the country to help the industry.

In a recent ports and shipping conference, Department of Transportation and Communications (DoTC) Undersecretary Aristotle Batuhan said that they are ready to undertake a coherent, integrated, and efficient transport system anchored on the concept of public private partnership (PPP).

The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) expects to prioritize the development of various ports and terminals under privatization schemes.

These are located in Davao, Zamboanga, General Santos and Cagayan de Oro in Mindanao; Iloilo in the Visayas; and Manila Bulk Terminal in Luzon.

Batuhan disclosed that the Vessel Traffic Management System would also be established in Oriental Mindoro, Davao, Iloilo, Zamboanga and Cagayan de Oro to complement the physical developments with vessel safety and security solution.

"Ports and shipping activities will always remain a reliable barometer of world trade," said Batuhan.

The DoTC Undersecretary also said cargo volumes shipped in and out of Philippine ports grew by 10 percent in the first three quarters of 2010 due to improved international and local trade.

The government is set to undertake eight PPP projects this year to improve mass transport in Metro Manila and the provinces.

The DoTC earlier identified these projects as the Light Rail Transit (LRT) Line 1 and (Metro Rail Transit) MRT 3 integration, the LRT South Extension Project, the MRT Line 2 Extension Project, the Northrail Project Section 1 and 2, the Philippine National Railways North Rail-South Rail Linkage Phase 1, the Laguindingan Airport Development Project, the Panglao Airport Project and the redevelopment of the Puerto Princesa Airport Project.