This after Rep. Erico Aristotle Aumentado (Bohol, 2ndÂ District) got the Department of Transportation and Communicationsâ€™ (DoTC) approval to use P60 million of its 2015 savings to develop the three ports.
Getting P20 million each, Aumentado said, are the ports of Clarin, Getafe and Buenavista towns.
He said these ports urgently need expansion because these are also gateways to and from Bohol. The present ports, however, have limited berthing areas that can accommodate just one passenger banca at a time â€“ leaving no more space for pumpboats to dock.
Aumentado said he wants to improve the gateways to make development come in. He cited the case of Dubai that built alongside its international airport a hospital. Before long, he said, locators came in droves to set up businesses near the airport and the hospital because of the potentials for expansion.
As things are, he said, goods get to the people of Clarin, Getafe and Buenavista by shipments from Cebu to the ports of Ubay, Talibon or Tubigon â€“ which are bigger â€“ to be transferred by land.
The additional cost of the land trip increases the prices of these goods. The businessmen, however, merely pass on the increase to the consumers.
With the expanded and widened ports, more goods at reasonable prices will be available in these and neighboring towns. As soon as these are widened and expanded, the ports will be able to accommodate more passenger bancas â€“ and even fast crafts in the future, Aumentado explained.Â At present, the Getafe port now serves the berthing needs of fast crafts from Cebu and back daily.
The ports improvement projects are on top of the P60 million inserted in the 2015 General Appropriations Act (GAA) for Tapal Wharf in Ubay and another P30 million for the Popoo Wharf in the island town of President Carlos P. Garcia.
To note, the expansion of Popoo Wharf will mean regular trips for barges and cargo ships calling â€“ and with them â€“ progress and development for the town â€“ instead of just pump boats.
Also up for completion this year is the expansion of the Ubay Port that is even wider and bigger than the Tagbilaran Port. The former can accommodate up to 50 passenger buses for barging trips to Matnog, Sorsogon en route to Manila, he said. (Â By JUNE S. BLANCO)