Improved Puerto Princesa seaport to boost PH economy: Duterte

Improved Puerto Princesa seaport to boost PH economy: Duterte
FILE: President Rodrigo Roa Duterte presides over a meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) core members prior to his talk to the people at the Malacañang Palace on October 25, 2021. ALBERTO ALCAIN/ PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday expressed confidence that the expansion of the Puerto Princesa Port in Palawan will be of big help to revive the Philippine economy amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

In a speech delivered in Puerto Princesa Manila, Duterte said he is excited to see the outcome of the opening of the improved seaport.

“We welcome this infrastructure development as we continue to overcome and recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on our economy,” Duterte said during the inauguration of the expanded Puerto Princesa Port.

Duterte said he is optimistic that the expansion project at the Puerto Princesa Port would boost growth in Palawan and its nearby areas.

“This development is expected to accommodate increased vessel traffic, facilitate efficient handling of cargo, and enhance the port’s productivity,” he said. “Also, this will help boost the main gateway port of the island and reinforce its role in expanding transportation connectivity and enhancing economic and tourism activities in the province as well as in other parts of the country.”

Duterte also lauded the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) for the expansion of the seaport, saying the completed infrastructure project is a “significant milestone” in his administration’s “Build, Build, Build” Program.

The expansion of the Puerto Princesa Port forms part of the 472 commercial and social-tourism nationwide projects accomplished by the DOTr and the PPA since 2016.

The Puerto Princesa Port, which serves as Palawan’s primary maritime gateway for commerce, trade and tourism, is expanded to boost the port’s productivity, particularly in its long-haul connection to Metro Manila (according to the newspaper website and planned connectivity to Mindoro through the Port of Bulalacao.

Upholding territorial integrity

During the event, Duterte unveiled the station marker of the PCG Kalayaan Station.

The newly-constructed station in Pagasa Island is equipped with facilities that will help sustain the living conditions of PCG personnel who are securing the country’s maritime borders.

Duterte expressed optimism that the PCG can now engage in search and rescue missions, maritime patrol and surveillance, air ambulance utility roles and other mandated duties to help the Filipino people during challenging times.

“We also look into fortifying our maritime security in the area. I am glad to know that the Philippine Coast Guard continues to be geared towards expanded presence in the West Philippine Sea and the Kalayaan Island Group to safeguard Filipino fishermen who venture into the sea for their daily livelihood,” he said.

Duterte also guaranteed that he would continue to uphold the country’s territorial integrity.

“As President, I assure you that we will uphold our territorial integrity no matter what the circumstance is,” he said.

Duterte also read the proclamation for the commission of the Philippine Coast Guard’s recently-acquired Cessna Caravan Plane (PCG 2081 Aircraft).

He said the aircraft is also equipped to undertake efforts and missions to transfer and deliver Covid-19 vaccines and test kits without affecting their lifespan or efficacy.

“My kababayans (fellow countrymen), this is your government at work. Let me assure you that we are fully committed to pursue a more comfortable life for everyone through the improved mobility and productivity of our people,” Duterte said.