Puerto Princesa is edging closer to the realization of its long-awaited international cruise port, which is expected to mark a turning point for the city’s tourism prospects, the local office of the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) said.

Backed by a P3.5 billion budget allocated via the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the project aims to redefine the city’s appeal as a premier international cruise destination, providing a gateway to Palawan’s enchanting landscapes and lively cultural heritage, according to Frasy de Guzman, media relations officer of the Administrative Division of the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA).

She said the international cruise port has progressed through Phases 1 to 7 seamlessly, and is set to encompass a wide range of facilities and amenities, designed to cater to the diverse needs of both travelers and locals alike.

De Guzman explained it isn’t merely a cruise port; it is a multifunctional terminal, serving not only cruise passengers but also those seeking to embark on journeys to other destinations.

Despite the significant progress made, the start date for Phase 8 remains undecided. She assured that a meticulous approach is being taken to ensure that every phase is executed with the utmost precision and quality.

“They have started Phases 1 to 7, and Phase 8, wala pang [takdang] petsa tungkol doon—once it is completed, it will be turned over to the PPA for its operation. We look forward na very soon, maybe in three or four years time,” she said during the Amos Ta Ren online show of the City Tourism Office (CTO).

The state-of-the-art cruise port will welcome international visitors with a sprawling terminal and an array of recreational activities. De Guzman said that with its strategic location and modern infrastructure, the port is poised to attract cruise liners from around the world.

The initiative is projected to breathe fresh vitality into the local economy, generating employment opportunities and bolstering revenue streams.

De Guzman said further that Mayor Lucilo Bayron’s administration, which is actively pursuing its completion, views it as a lasting present for the residents of Puerto Princesa as it won’t merely function as a cruise port, but will symbolize the dedication to display Palawan’s beauty and hospitality to the global community.

“It would promote the tourism industry in Palawan. I have seen the perspectives of those buildings that would be erected in the area, and my gosh, they will be in awe—it’s one for the books,” she said.

Based on city government plans, the area will also see the construction of a 5,000-capacity convention center, hotels and other possible commercial establishments, and a launching pad for bay cruise.

Already, signs of progress are evident, as eight cruise ships have docked in Puerto Princesa since January. An additional 12 are expected to arrive throughout the remainder of the year.

De Guzman said some of these vessels will be making their maiden voyages, while others are returning to the port repeatedly due to its growing popularity.

The upcoming cruise ship scheduled to dock in Puerto Princesa is on October 6, and there are additional arrivals planned, including on Christmas day, December 25. She emphasized that these arrivals highlight the importance of Puerto Princesa as a year-round attractive destination.

She said the cruise port not only symbolizes advancement and modernity but also presents a chance for Puerto Princesa and Palawan to stand out on the global tourism platform.

The cruise port project is divided into several stages, encompassing the building of a 500-meter pier, docking infrastructure, passenger terminal, and connecting road. The DPWH regional office is spearheading the project’s development within the city.

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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.