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Megaport in Cavite

Megaport in Cavite.

Government mulls development of megaport

The government is planning to create a megaport outside of Manila, possibly in Cavite, in preparation of the doubling of cargo volumes in the next five years, according to Trade and Industry Secretary Gregory L. Domingo.

In a radio interview over the weekend, Domingo revealed that the National Economic and Development Authority Board has already discussed the development of a megaport as a long-term solution to the current congestion at the Manila ports.

megaport in cavite

megaport“We need a bold move,” said Domingo as he raised the possibility of creating a new megaport possibly in Cavite or another port area outside of Manila, but one that is not so far also from Manila.

Domingo has pressed for this bold move to develop a megaport because it will take five years to build a port. If development of a new megaport will start now, its completion will just be in time for the doubling of capacity of cargoes in Manila five years from now.

“We continue to grow 10 percent in container volume every year so in five to eight years we will double our load at the ports,” Domingo said. North and South harbors cannot accommodate this increase in cargo volume.

Global port operator ICTSI Inc. operates the country biggest port Manila International Container Terminal (MICT), which has annual capacity of 1.6 million TEUs (twenty-foot unit) at the north harbor. But Domingo said MICT can only increase capacity by 50 percent.

ATI Inc., which operates south harbor, has no more room for expansion and can improve its efficiency by 10 to 15 percent.

Batangas, which was designated last year only as an alternate Manila port, has been fully utilized already and has no more land to expand into. Batangas, which is operated by ATI, is only 10 percent of the Manila port capacity.

Recognizing these constraints, Domingo stressed the need for expansion of capacity over the long term.

In the medium term, North Harbor has added container van capacity.

And the connector road between NLEX and SLEX will alleviate congestion at the ports because the cargoes will have to go direct to the North.

There are also some improvements in the port regulations to improve the flow of cargoes to and from the ports.

Meantime, the Sunday and Monday operations have been helping alleviate congestion as the two days will open up port capacity by 20 percent.

“But for the long term, we need to build a modern megaport which has road access outside the city,” he said.

Domingo expressed hope that the Department of Transportation and Communication will decide before the term of President Aquino ends in June 2016. (BCM)

Source:  Manila Bulletin
by Bernie Magkilat

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