Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III on Monday said it’s high time for government to modernize the local ports in Mindanao to international standards to encourage healthy competition in the domestic shipping industry.
In a statement, Pimentel issued the call as he expressed full support on the move of businessmen, who met recently in Davao City, urging the 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.
“We should fully implement the law that allows foreign ships’ co-loading for domestic transhipment to encourage healthy competition. But our ports have to be upgraded to meet the berthing and mooring needs of foreign ships,” he said.
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.
He also backed their call to declare the Mindanao Container Terminal in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental as a Freeport for cost efficiency and to hasten the implementation of the proposed Mindanao railway project for easy connectivity in the island’s six regions.