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Samal Island International Seaport

2008 November 26

International Seaport

International Seaport

The city government of Samal is looking to build an international seaport to compliment the proposed 500-hectare Special Economic Zone currently in second reading in Congress.

Cleto Gales, Jr., Island Garden City of Samal city administrator, said a pre-feasibility study on the seaport, proposed to be located in Barangay Tagpopongan, Babak District, showed no constraints on the sea level to accommodate the berthing area.

He said the cost of the project and other technical considerations will be included in the feasibility study.
Gales said their technical people also computed the projected ship traffic for the port that would divert a considerable number of vessels from the Sasa port.

“Sasa has no more room for expansion (that’s why we have thought about it) and if there is, it will be expensive on the part of the government to relocate the informal settlers (to give for the expansion),” he said.

Once the port is constructed, Gales said the ships passing by Pakiputan Straight in going to Sasa will instead stop by in Tagpopongan to address concerns of resort owners that huge waves generated by ships passing by caused damage to their properties.

Two years ago, Samal’s underwater cable was grazed and damaged by a passing vessel, cutting off electricity supply for weeks. He said cargoes will be transported from the port to the other destinations or the economic seaport that will be built in nearby Barangay Liboac. The port and economic zone will be connected by a trunk road.

Samal to pursue int’l seaport

Mindanao Times By Rizalene P. Acac Published : 2008-11-19

photo from flicker under CC liscense

11 Responses leave one →
  1. November 26, 2008

    Well, like what I was told, it is so easy to go through readings and approve everything. It is afterwards that is not carefully thought of – I think this is the typical “bahala na” attitude. How are they going to protect the marine habitat? Those ships that pass too close to the island have huge wakes – I’ve seen them.

    But – go ahead and get it approved and get the portion of the national budget for the improvement. If not, it will just be allocated elsewhere :) .

  2. November 26, 2008

    I personally see no reason why such a port would be needed. How much need is there for ships to carry cargo to Samal Island? There is not much on the island that would require any kind of raw materials or anything like that. They say that it is needed because Sasa has run out of space. So, does that mean that stuff will be shipped to Samal and then carried over to Davao? I mean, if the reason to build the port is because Sasa is out of space, that would indicate that the ships need to go to the mainland, but will alternatively go to Samal instead, due to the lack of adequate space at Sasa. So, the goods are needed in Davao or elsewhere in Mindanao. So, to bring the goods from Samal to Davao will add cost to the shipping, and will also require space at Sasa. This just makes no sense to me.

    For me, Samal needs to decide which direction they want to go. Resort/tourism/eco friendly business or industrialization/shipping and such. It’s a small island and it would seem to me that one direction kind of rules out the other. I mean, if you start industrializing the Island, it just becomes another Davao, even part of Davao. If you aim for tourism, it’s a different place than Davao – clean, pristine, natural, etc. If you do both, the industrialization would wipe out the tourism side, IMHO.

  3. November 26, 2008

    Bob, it won’t happen. They will just get the national budget portion for Samal and build the wharf, but it won’t be used. Thats my opinion. :)

  4. November 26, 2008

    Hi Ellen – I totally agree. There is no reason for it, so why build it! :lol:

    It’s kind of like the mythical bridge! :wink:

  5. November 26, 2008

    Hi Ellen/Bob – got Ellen’s response during a stop at Starbuck’s on my drive to Seattle for the holiday. Wasn’t able to respond but was thinking about this and what she said. I came to the same conclusion as you Bob, it seems IGaCoS can’t really decide what it wants to be. The seaport/free-zone, etc. seem to be the polar opposite direction of the world class residential communities and resorts that are going in. Given Ellen’s remarks about the wave problem alone, that would certainly make me pause if I were looking to buy into one of those communites.

    So now we have a no-show bridge and a “pie in the sky seaport”. Wonder what’s next on the horizon?

  6. November 27, 2008

    Hi all – Happy Thanksgiving. :)

  7. November 27, 2008

    Hi Ellen – Yes, Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.I hope anyone that celebrates the holiday is enjoying the day. I was going to put something up here but I’ve been busy with family.

  8. November 27, 2008

    Family first, Randy :) .

  9. November 30, 2008

    Hi Ellen – yes, it’s always good to see everyone. Been a busy weekend. Be good to get back home tonight, though.

  10. December 2, 2008

    I add my vote to the idea of ‘make up your mind’. The government of Samal is in the enviable position of being in charge of a lovely place with great promise, yet their ideas seem to vary between inspired and out and out “copy cat”.

    The idea of a Special Economic Zone is likely a good one. There are two operating today, worthy of note. One, Subic Bay _is_ a seaport, although the actual cargo traffic is smaller thna one might imnagine. eeven though Subic is less thna two hour’s drive fromn Metro Manila via real superhighways there is still not a signiciant commercial freight traffic, when compared with the port of Manila.

    The total traffic that will ever come to southern Mindanao is only a fraction of the country;’s total commerce, and building mor eports in the ‘hopes’ they will come is not smart in my view.

    The real economic strength pf Subic is in tourism (none of which comes by sea) and manufactiring … which is certainly helped by maribe access but is not at all completely marine oriented.

    Clark is the other “jewel” SEZ and it is not on the water at all. It’s main contribution is again tourism, manufacturing and service oriented businesses centering on the BPO area (do you know where you calls to AOL’s help desk wind up)?

    A Special Economic Zone is essentially shorthand for a place that businesses can be established and especially foreign-pwned businesses are welcome that obviates most of the horrid, business-unfriendly Philippine government red tape.

    So a SEZ for Samal may be a good idea, but the idea that the only viable SEZ model includes a seaport seems wrong to me.

  11. December 2, 2008

    Hi Dave – thanks for your thoughts on the matter. The more opinions I hear, the more I think Ellen may be right – Samal sees a way to grab some of the cash and whether a seaport is ever built is really not of concern.

    Otherwise, it doesn’t really make sense.

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