The Department of Tourism (DOT) is eyeing three of Cebu’s major ports as potential docking ports for international cruise liners, backing Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco’s move to make the Philippines a top cruise tourism destination.
In a statement Tuesday, Cebu Port Authority (CPA) general manager Francisco Comendador III identified these ports as the Cebu International Port (CIP), Port 88 in Liloan, and the Cebu South Harbor and Container Terminal in Talisay City as some of the potential ports for cruise ships in Cebu.
At present, CIP serves as the main port for international cargo, bulk, and breakbulk cargo vessels while the Cebu South Port and Container Terminal Services Corp. is a new privately-owned container yard for breakbulk cargo operations.
Port 88 is a privately owned smart port in Liloan that enhances connectivity with Mactan Island and the Camotes Island group.
Comendador said DOT officials were joined by executives of Wallem Philippines Shipping Inc. and partner international offshore handlers in inspecting CIP on Tuesday.
The plan to make Cebu as destination for international cruise liners is in line with the National Cruise Tourism Development Strategy and Action Plan of the DOT.
It aims to promote and market the Philippines as an attractive and diverse cruise destination, offering high-level customer satisfaction and cost-effective deployment for cruise liners operating in major homeports in Asia.
“This is a welcome opportunity for the Port of Cebu to be able to feature our world-class port facilities here and to be acknowledged on a global scale. We are closely collaborating with DOT on this to also ensure (the) readiness of our ports in anticipation of more port calls from top cruise ship lines,” Comendador said.
Meanwhile, Comendador, Cebu 4th District Rep. Janice Salimbangon, and Medellin Mayor Joven Mondigo Jr. led the groundbreaking ceremony for the PHP109.3 million roll-on roll-off (Ro-Ro) ramp expansion project at the Port of Kawit in Medellin, Cebu on Dec. 1.
The port in mainland Cebu’s tip-most corridor can accommodate only one shipping company and operates the route of Kawit to neighboring islands like Santa Fe and Masbate on Bantayan Island.
With the expansion project, the port is expected to provide additional docking facilities to accommodate additional Ro-Ro vessels and conventional vessels.
Comendador said the expansion will also provide better mooring structure for Ro-Ro vessels to safely dock in the port facility, especially during inclement weather conditions.
The expansion project is also expected to lower transport costs and reduce travel time for the sugarcane planters of Bogo and Medellin and complement the logistical needs of the soon-to-be Medellin airport project and the proposed Northern Cebu Economic Zone in Medellin, Cebu.
It is also expected to boost Medellin’s tourism industry as it also serves as a gateway to Bantayan Island one of Cebu’s best beach destinations in the north. (PNA)