The Insignia during its visit this year in Puerto Princesa City.

Mayor Lucilo Bayron said the 500-meter cruise ship port under the government’s “Build, Build, Build” big-ticket and high-impact infrastructure initiatives in Puerto Princesa City is already 60 percent complete.

Bayron announced this in his guesting on ANC on September 12 to promote the city government’s planned business forum to attract more investments in Manila that will be staged on September 25.

Bayron said the construction remains ongoing, but they are hoping that the P1.5 billion cruise ship port being built by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) will be operational by the end of next year.

“This is a project of the national government [through the] DPWH. [It’s] one of the big-ticket projects under the Build, Build, Build of President [Rodrigo] Duterte that is being implemented in Puerto Princesa City,” he said.

Bayron said the port with terminal and corresponding access road will allow the city to welcome Quantum-class cruise liners that can convey bigger numbers of crew and passengers combined.

He said they can transport around 7,000-10,000 in the city.

“It’s ongoing now, the main port is about 60 percent complete. Maybe towards the end of next year, this will be operational. It will be able to accommodate bigger ships like Quantum cruise ships because these carry 7,000 to 10,000 passengers. Just imagine 10,000 passengers plus 5,000 crew coming down and spending money in the city for the entire day,” Bayron said.

Bayron cited to ANC that the construction of the big-ticket project was partly because of a Quantum ship that previously ran aground in the port area.

Since the incident, he said the cruise ships that visited the city have been limited to the smaller sizes — those that can only carry about 2,000 passengers.

“There was one time when a big cruise ship arrived and docked in the Puerto Princesa City wharf — one of the cleanest and most orderly wharves in the entire country — [but] the ship hit the bottom of the waters. The report is the draft is 13 meters, but the ship’s draft is 11 meters, it ran aground, luckily it’s all sand. That was the last big cruise ship that came in. After that, we only receive about 2,000 or 1,000 passengers,” he said.

The cruise ship port construction covers Barangays Mabuhay, Pagkakaisa, and Bagong Silang where residents have been previously relocated.

Last year, Bayron said the construction of the port facility is seen to boost the city’s evolving cruise ship tourism as it would cater to more and bigger cruise ships.

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has been with Palawan News since January 2019. She is its managing editor, overseeing and coordinating day-to-day editorial activities. Her writing interests are politics and governance, health, defense, investigative journalism, civic journalism, and the environment.