DAVAO CITY — The P550-million Malalag Port Development Project in Davao del Sur has been completed, upgrading the cargo facility for the south of the Davao Region, the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) said over the weekend.

In a statement, PPA said among the goods that are expected to pass through the seaport are “molasses, sugar, steel products, vehicles and heavy equipment.”

Davao del Sur is considered the center of sugar production in the region, and also produces coconut, rice, mango, and banana, among other agricultural commodities.

The port is located about 25 kilometers from Digos City, the capital of Davao del Sur, and 88 kilometers from Davao City.

Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. President Arturo M. Milan said the modernized facility will help develop not just the region but also neighboring provinces.

“It will be easier for them (local producers and traders) to move their goods,” Mr. Milan told BusinessWorld.

In June 2017, the Malalag municipal government returned the operations of the port to the PPA.

The facility was handed over to Malalag following the passage of the Local Government Code in 2001, which specified the devolution of some national functions.

The upgrades include the construction of a new wharf, access trestle, back-up area, improvement of the old back-up area, and the installation of a lighting system.

Aside from Malalag, the PPA operates three other ports in the region: Sasa and Sta. Ana in Davao City, and one in Mati City, Davao Oriental. — Carmelito Q. Francisco