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DOTr, Consolacion to start work on port in 1st quarter

THE Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Consolacion, Cebu are working closely so the construction of Cebu International Container Port (CICP) will start in the first quarter of 2021.

The Korean Government has approved the P10 billion loan for the Philippine Government two years ago when President Rodrigo Duterte was in a state visit in that country.

However, the project cannot be implemented yet due to maneuvering by some politicians and vested interest group.

Late last year, DOTr asked the help of Consolacion LGU in releasing the Philippine counter-part fund in the amount of US$43 million.

The Department of Finance (DOF) immediately released it through the intercession of Consolacion Vice Mayor Teresa “Nene” Pepito Alegado and her son, Consolacion Mayor Joaness “Joyjoy” Alegado.

Alegado said the counterpart fund is for the payment to Korean consultants for the container port project. “The thing is already going through. The Korean consultants (for the project) have arrived so with the Filipino implementor who will inspect the project site, bringing with them their equipment,” Alegado said.

She said that being the host municipality, they readily helped the DOTr officials in implementing COCP.

“The National Government and DOTr officials are happy with our cooperation and readiness to help them in implementing the project. In fact, the DOTr also requested us to help then in the acquisition of road-right-of-way,” Alegado said.

The Municipal Council passed a resolution informing DOTr that Consolacion is ready to assist, in any way, on how they can fasttrack the realization of the project. The resolution was brought to the DOTr in Manila through Project Engineer Nonoy dela Cruz.

In response, the DOTr drafted a memorandum of agreement (MOA) that DOTr will download the fund for the road-right-of-way for the Consolacion LGU to implement.

“We will start negotiating for the road-right-of-way once the money will already be downloaded to the LGU, although we will use the guidelines of DPWH (Department of Public Works and Highways),” Alegado said.

Although it is a DOTr project, the end-user is the Cebu Port Authority (CPA) which is presently operating the Cebu International Port (CIP).

Earlier, the late CPA General Manager Angelo Verdan said that once the CICP will be operational, the CIP will be converted into a cruise ship port and a business district. ELIAS O. BAQUERO