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Upgraded Siquijor ports unveiled

DoTr Secretary Arthur Tugade said that the port can now service more vessels, including larger ships.



Call Siquijor “Isla del Progreso” or Island of Progress.

With economic development hinging on free-flowing trade and commerce, the Department of Transportation (DoTr) has inaugurated the expanded and modernized Siquijor Seaport under the Duterte administration’s “Build, Build, Build” program.

Port development included the creation of a wharf with a roll-on, roll-off (Ro-Ro) ramp and back-up area, illuminated by 25 units of solar lights that lower power cost while reducing carbon footprint.

With the improvements, the port now allows for faster vessel turnaround time and a shortened waiting period for passengers and shippers, and will eventually reduce the queuing of rolling cargo.
The port represents Siquijor’s much-improved connectivity with the rest of the Philippines.

DoTr Secretary Arthur Tugade said on Thursday during the inauguration rites that the port can now service more vessels, including larger ships.

“With the improvements that we are doing at the airport and seaport, soon, Siquijor will be known as ‘Isla del Progreso.’ In other words, you will now have a massive change in connectivity at the seaport of Siquijor,” Tugade said.

Also present during the inauguration was Siquijor Governor Zaldy Villa, who told Secretary Tugade that the development projects in the province are much-appreciated by his constituents.
Siquijor is an island province in Central Visayas, with its capital being the town also called Siquijor.

Earlier in the day, Tugade also inaugurated the P39.3-million Siquijor Airport project in the town of Cang-alwang, boasting of a 656-square meter passengers terminal building implemented and funded by DoTr.

Siquijor Airport is a community feeder aerodrome serving the general area of the town of Siquijor, classified by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines as a community airport.

Aside from Siquijor Airport, the DoTR has allotted P1.1 billion fund to renovate other airports such as General Santos International Airport, Calbayog Airport, Sanga-Sanga Airport, Catarman Airport, Romblon Airport and Ozamiz Airport.

“Before the pandemic, there was a demand for us to upgrade (the port) due to the increased number of trips coming from Cebu, Bohol, and Dumaguete. This pressured us to look for additional funding sources,” Villa said.

“Whenever we have events, the Siquijornons will chant: ‘Dream Siquijor!’ and now, it has already come to light. Our dream is already a reality,” he added, thanking President Rodrigo Duterte and Tugade. Before the upgrade, the Siquijor Seaport can only service a maximum of four ferries.

With the renovation works completed, it can now serve up to eight vessels with provision to handle a 65-meter cargo ship. It can also service two Ro-Ro vessels at the same time.

The port is seen to boost inclusive growth in the areas of employment, local trade, and investments.

As it was being upgraded, the port generated 35 jobs, with more jobs expected to open up with its expanded operations, including tourism-related activities.

The DoTr and its attached agency Philippine Ports Authority have already completed 426 seaport projects, while the Philippine Coast Guard has modernized the country’s lighthouses, from only 113 in 2014, now at 600 since March, 2021.