The provincial board will summon officials of the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) next week to inquire on the status of its port facility in Sta. Cruz, Taytay.
Board Member Roseller S. Pineda said the facility has been idle for nearly a decade and is seeking its use as a commercial Roll-on, Roll-off (RoRo) port that would improve commerce in the area.
Pineda said the Sta. Cruz port, which is located on the eastern coast of Taytay, has good potential to cater to sea vessels coming from Cuyo town and provinces in the Visayan area.
“Pag nagamit na, malaki ang mababawas sa gastos at time ng mga biyahero. Instead of going [directly] to Puerto Princesa, dyan na magdo-dock lalo na yung mga cargo vessels,” he said.
He said that work on the port started during the time that Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was president, as part of her “nautical highway” program.
He added that although the port is currently being used for some minor activities, opening it to full operation will be beneficial not only to Taytay but to other municipalities as well.
“Ang hindi natin malaman, kaya nga meron tayong resolution at nagtatanong tayo doon sa PPA (Philippine Ports Authority) kung bakit hanggang ngayon hindi nagagamit yan. Hopefully, pag naging operational yan, malaking tulong para sa bayan ng Taytay at sa buong northern Palawan as a whole dahil mas mapapabilis yung transportation natin,” he said.
“Sayang kung kung hindi magagamit ng husto kasi, actually nagagamit yan ngayon sa mga nagsi-ship ng quarry, dyan binabagsak, pero hindi nagagamit fully as a commercial port kung saan, yung mga RoRo ships at iba pa na galing sa Visayas, malaki ang magiging cost saving and time-saving kung diyan, and even from Cuyo that will take only six to eight hours,” he added.
He also said that people from a number of RoRo companies had been to the area to check it out and said they saw the port’s potential.
“Imagine ang travel time from Ilo-ilo to Cuyo and then to Puerto Princesa takes almost more than 30 hours. Samantalang dito, ang Cuyo to Puerto ay 18 hours, Cuyo to Taytay, six to eight hours,” he explained.
Through a resolution, PPA officials were invited to appear this week before the Committee on Transportation and Transportation hearing to discuss the matter.