Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III underscored that it was high-time that the government acts on calls of businessmen to modernize Mindanao’s ports and make it at-par with international standards.
Pimentel said modernizing the local ports in Mindanao, using a global benchmark, will encourage healthy competition in the domestic shipping industry.
“We should fully implement the law that allows foreign ships’ co-loading for domestic transshipment to encourage healthy competition. But our ports have to be upgraded to meet the berthing and mooring needs of foreign ships,” he said.
Pimentel issued the call after a meeting with businessmen in Davao City. The entrepreneurs urged the Duterte administration to rehabilitate, expand and upgrade the local ports in the island.
The 26th Mindanao Business Conference, conducted by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), has approved 20 resolutions that would be brought up in the upcoming Philippine Business Conference.
Citing the observations of Mindanao businessmen, Pimentel said foreign ships “could only dock in international ports because of berthing depth requirements and inadequate mooring facilities that domestic ports could not provide.”
Pimentel also backed the proposal of the Cagayan de Oro Chamber of Commerce and Industry for the full industrialization of the PHIVIDEC Industrial Estate in Misamis Oriental to improve local manufacturing production.
Likewise, the Senate chief backed their call to declare the Mindanao Container Terminal in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental as a freeport for cost efficiency.