Tagbilaran port now has a refrigerated container van or reefer van as cold storage for local farmers and fishermen.
Department of Transportation (DoTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade led the inauguration of the reefer van on Thursday.
“This (reefer van) is for our fishermen and farmers. It is the refrigerator of the country,” said Tugade.
The Department of Agriculture, Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), and Association of International Shipping Lines helped the DoTr in acquiring the reefer van.
Also gracing the simple launching of the cold storage were DoTr Undersecretary for Aviation and Airports Manuel Antonio Tamayo, DoTr Assistant Secretary for Maritime Fernando Juan Perez, PPA General Manager Jay Santiago and Tagbilaran Port Manager James Gantalao.
On the same day, Tugade inspected the ports of Dumaguete and Siquijor and saw the facilities lacking in some equipment. He directed the PPA Port Management Office of Negros Oriental and Siquijor Port Manager Sarah Mijares to increase the number of air-conditioning units, electric fans, and charging stations to make passengers feel comfortable while waiting for ferry.
“We will add aircon so you will feel fresh,” the secretary said to waiting passengers at the Dumaguete port terminal.
Tugade added that incoming ships at the port should have third-party liability insurance to pay for damages to port facilities when docking.
Mijares provided good news to Tugade by informing him that a new port operations building at the Base Port of Dumaguete will be completed by the first quarter of 2020.
Meanwhile, he inspected the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Southern Visayas District and saw its barracks need for an upgrade.
Speaking with PCG District Commander Captain Rodolfo Villajuan, Tugade suggested the construction of a 2-storey barracks, including an exercise area, to facilitate trainings of PCG personnel.
“We have to take care of our PCG personnel,” he said.