THE Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) is setting aside about P16 billion for its infrastructure projects until 2028, including its 14 big-ticket projects scheduled to be completed during the period.

“We implement around 30 to 40 projects a year. Our infrastructure projects are worth around P3.5 billion to P4 billion a year. So for the next four years until 2028, we are earmarking around P16 billion,” PPA General Manager Jay Daniel R. Santiago told reporters on the sidelines of a briefing on Tuesday.

The PPA said that it plans to enhance and develop ports to improve efficiency and capacity, while also preparing some of them to receive cruise ships.

Luzon has a total of five flagship projects: the Port of Capinpin expansion in Orion, Bataan; the Currimao Port expansion and restoration in Ilocos Norte; the Jose Panganiban Port upgrade in Camarines Norte; the development of Balogo Port in Camarines Sur; and a Wharf in Claveria Port in Cagayan province.

The six projects for the Visayas are the construction of a wharf and operational area in Catacbacan Port, Loon, Bohol; Tapal Port Expansion in Ubay, Bohol; the development of a new port in Lavezares, Samar; upgrades to Babatngon Port; Leyte; the improvement of Banago Port, Negros Occidental and the expansion of Ormoc Port.

The Mindanao big-ticket projects such as the construction of a cargo ship port in Dapa, Surigao del Norte; the upgrading of the general cargo berth in Davao City’s Sasa Port; and the expansion of Plaridel Port in Misamis Occidental. 

Mr. Santiago said these flagship projects will be subject to feasibility studies, with consultants being sought to conduct the studies. 

“We’re engaging consultancy services for the feasibility studies. We are doing it on a cluster basis,” he said, referring to the Luzon-Visayas-Mindanao port groupings.

For now, the PPA said it will not go the public-private partnership (PPP) route for its flagship projects and will implement the projects on its own.

“I am not discounting PPP. In the immediate term, our focus is to implement the projects on our own. The project size and cost (do not require) outside funding,” he said. — Ashley Erika O. Jose