Sasa port modernization`costly’ at P17-M: Danny

THE MOVE to modernize Sasa port, will become “a huge burden on the Filipino taxpayers” as the project now costs P17 billion, Councilor Danilo C. Dayanghirang said.

Dayanghirang, chair of the city council committee on finance, said yesterday in his privilege speech that the project is “too costly” compared with what was proposed before by the Philippine Ports Authority which would only cost P4 billion.

“It will be too costly to the Filipino taxpayers. It will be too costly to the port users, particularly the business sector. It will be too costly to the Davaoeños and other consumers as cost of transport would be passed on to them,” he said.

In a statement of National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), this would cost to P17 billion as it will “involve the development of the existing Davao Sasa Port into a modern, international-standard container terminal that will improve trade access to Mindanao and the Philippines by providing a dedicated containerized port in Davao Region.”

“The private partner will finance the construction and modernization of the existing port including the new apron, linearquay, expansion of the back-up area, container yards, warehouses, and the installation of new equipment like ship-to-shore cranes and rubber-tyredgantry,” cited the statement of NEDA.

The Davao Sasa Port, once modernized, will be operated and maintained for a 30-year concession period.

But Enrique Razon, chair of International Container Terminal Services, said earlier in a news report his company not keen on participating in the bidding of the project as the investment requirement to modernize the port was “so large.”

The modernization of the port is expected to start soon once the bidding process will be completed. This is the first seaport public-private partnership project under the administration of President Benigno Simeon Aquino III.

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