PPA focusing on Ro-Ro with P4.6-B budget in 2017

Posted on July 10, 2017

THE Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) has budgeted P4.638 billion to finance port development projects this year as the agency prioritizes rehabilitation and expansion of more ports in a bid to further push interisland connectivity via Roll-On, Roll-Off (Ro-Ro) ferry services.

Among the ports in the PPA pipeline for rehabilitation are Iloilo port and Abra de Ilog in Mindoro. -- CRECENCIO I. CRUZ
Data from the port operator showed that PPA has spent P1.266 billion or 27.29% of the allocated budget to implement 95 projects including carry-over and new projects.

“PPA earmarked a huge portion of its financial resources for its port development and maintenance program, directed towards improving the capacity and efficiency of ports that is consistent with the government’s development agenda and strategic objectives,” its report read.

The port regulator said as of end-May, 28 projects were implemented in Luzon, 30 projects in the Visayas and 37 in Mindanao.

For dredging, the PPA said the approved budget for 2017 is P1.208 billion covering both new and carry-over projects and as of end-May, the value of the finished segment is P19.070 million.

“For 2017, PPA programmed the removal of 4.084 million cubic meters of silt at various piers and harbors to ensure that serviceable water depths are maintained for the safe navigation of large vessels calling at the ports,” it said.

As of May, the agency said a total of 80,300 cubic meters of silt was removed at the Port of Tagbilaran and other programmed dredging projects at the other ports are under various stages of procurement.

Meanwhile, the PPA reported that its approved budget for repairs and maintenance projects amounts to P3.039 billion to fund 202 repair and maintenance efforts in various gateways.

Of the budget, the regulator said P1.921 billion will be used for new repair projects, P543.28 million for carry-over repairs, P137.50 million for routine maintenance projects and P437.06 million for unprogrammed projects.

“As of end April, 43 projects have been completed, 41 are on-going and 20 have not yet started,” the PPA said, adding that the value of completed work is P416.06 million, which is 57.77% of the amount released, P720.19 million, or 15.92% of the total approved program of work of P2.613 billion.

PPA earlier reported that its net profit rose 31.90% in the five months to May to P3.966 billion, against P3 billion posted a year earlier due to the increases in Ro-Ro fees, berthing fees and vessel lay-up fees.

This year, the agency has tempered its growth targets, expecting a “challenging 2017” amid persistent volatility in the peso and reduced volume expected from miners.

PPA said in end-March that it now anticipates growth to be “nominal this year.”

Among the ports in the PPA pipeline for rehabilitation are Iloilo port and Abra de Ilog in Mindoro. It will also expand the port in General Santos City, and pursue the ongoing rehabilitation and construction of a passenger terminal building in Cagayan de Oro. -- Imee Charlee C. Delavin