To promote Sulu’s economic growth
By NONOY E. LACSON
JOLO, Philippines – The Department of Transportation and Communications (DoTC) has allotted some P50 million to jump start the improvement and rehabilitation of the inter-island port here to serve as gateway for economic development in the province of Sulu.
Representative Habib Tupay Loong (1st District, Sulu) said the DoTC granted the amount to the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) to initially start the face-lifting and improvement of the Jolo Port.
In a letter to PPA General Manager Juan Sta. Ana, DoTC Undersecretary Rafael Antonio Santos disclosed that the amount of P50 million has been included in the proposed infrastructure budget of the department for the rehabilitation and upgrading of the port.
Adding that in order to ascertain the required funding for future programming to complete the expansion of the Jolo port, “we would appreciate receiving the overall investment requirement, pursuant to the feasibility study which you office is currently preparing.”
At present, Loong said, a feasibility study is being conducted by the PPA to determine the cost of the improvement of the port, and how long it will take for PPA to implement the project.
He also said that officers of the Science and Vision consulting firm had recently met with Sulu Governor Abdusakur M. Tan before they started the conduct of a study to improve the port here.
Engineer Jameson Lee, a principal engineer of the project, said that the initial phase of the port rehabilitation would be to have a feasibility study to maximize the potential of the facility – based on the socio-economic profile of the province.
“The Science and Vision consulting firm will be conducting the study, the same firm that we commissioned to do the study for the Davao and Zamboanga Port,” Lee added.
“The study has a budget of P4.3 million, and will have a timeframe of six months, and will include tourism, international standards, local economic development, port management, and other concerns,” Engineer Malou Mamatad, head consultant of the consulting firm, said.
As this developed, local traders and residents here lauded Loong and Tan for their joint effort that made possible the improvement and repair of the Jolo Port.
The two top officials here are now known as “partners in the development, and united in the vision of making Sulu reach its full economic potential.”
“To have an updated port facility, especially in this part of the country, is of great importance, a vital component of sustainable economic growth,” Tan and Loong jointly said.
According to Loong, the PPA officials and consultants were impressed by the socio-economic profile of the province, which is expected to bring economic and political change in the area.