CAGAYAN DE ORO – Local government units and private sector organizations in Northern Mindanao have lauded the opening today of the biggest seaport Passenger Terminal Building (PTB) in the Philippines at the Cagayan de Oro Port in Bgy. Macabalan.
Lodged in a two-storey building with a total floor area of 5,597 square meters, the new CDO Port PTB boasts of a 1,176-passenger seating capacity on its ground floor, and a 1,221-passenger seating capacity on its second floor.
According to Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) General Manager Jay Santiago, the new facility is eyed to boost opportunities for economic growth and tourism, not only in the city or in the province of Misamis Oriental, but for the whole of Northern Mindanao.
“The construction of this brand new building will greatly strengthen the region as the global gateway to Mindanao. Once we inaugurate this on July 15, we are opening Cagayan De Oro to the nation and to the rest of the world as we pursue progress for our seaports,” Santiago said.
Through the expansion project, the new PTB can now accommodate up to 3,000 sea passengers daily, triple its previous passenger capacity of 1,000. Besides the new PTB, PPA will also inaugurate its new port development in Opol, Misamis Oriental and the 6-lane electronic gate complex at Cagayan de Oro Port.
“The new PPA Passenger Terminal Building in CDO is a milestone, not just for CDO but also for Northern Mindanao and the Upper Half of Mindanao,” said Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Oscar S. Moreno.
“With an increased (doubled) capacity of 3,000 passengers, the Terminal will serve as the Major Gateway, and CDO's very strategic location, right in the center of the Upper Half of Mindanao, provides a perfect fit for it. CDO's role as a Convergence City, a Transport, Trading and Logistics Hub, will certainly continue to grow.”
“While we welcome this strategic support of the National Government, we are also aware that we need to level up our deliverables corresponding to this marked enhancement. We are committed to do that. Not just for CDO, but also for Northern Mindanao,” he added.
“The new PPA terminal helps in communicating to business and tourism how Cagayan de Oro values its position as the gateway to the region as well as providing competitive services and facilities,” said Eileen E. San Juan, Cagayan de Oro Local Economic & Investment Promotion Officer.
San Juan expressed optimism that with a more sophisticated terminal and port, Cagayan de Oro would attract more cruise ships in addition to the ones which have been visiting the city over the past three years.
According to the Department of Tourism Region 10 office, Cagayan de Oro has been a part of Expedition Cruises for the past years (e.g Silver Explorer Company), bringing a high-end group comprising of approximately 100 persons connecting Camiguin- Surigao – and parts of the Visayas Islands. Thus, the new port can really be an excellent facility should there be another route mapping or explorations in the area.
The Philippines’ largest port PTB also boasts of facilities and amenities that cater to the safety and comfort of sea passengers. These include security checkpoints with X-ray scanners for luggage, body scanners, security cameras, passenger boarding stations, assistance desks, designated green areas, play area for children, and a child care station.
“I congratulate the Philippine Ports Authority and its leadership for building this modern Passenger Terminal facility which will surely enhance the comfort, security and connectivity of visitors coming from various seaports in the country while entering the booming Metropolitan Cagayan de Oro corridor and its environs,” said Engr. Elpidio M. Paras, President, Promote Normin, a private sector-led NGO advocating Northern Mindanao as a tourism and business destination.
“This excellent project will greatly improve the attractiveness and competitiveness of the Northern Mindanao region as a prime investment destination for business, industry and tourism,” he added. “We expect more people from Cebu and the Visayas to take the option of an overnight boat trip, visit and enjoy our landmark tourism hotspots during the day, and appreciate the amenities this modern transit facility provides as they go back on their return trip home.”
DoTr Secretary Arthur P. Tugade commended the PPA for its efforts in completing the massive port project for the people of Cagayan de Oro and Northern Mindanao.
“I am thankful to GM Jay Santiago, and to the men and women of PPA, for realizing the dream of building the biggest Passenger Terminal Building in the country. This is a huge step towards giving the people of Cagayan de Oro a comfortable life through enhanced connectivity, a legacy promised by President Rodrigo Duterte,” Secretary Tugade said.
“The construction of a new passenger terminal building in Cagayan de Oro Port will further boost domestic tourism, enabling more inbound and outbound passengers to conveniently travel to major destinations in the Visayas and Luzon. Truly a remarkable feat as far as public sector investment is concerned,” said Ma. Teresa R. Alegrio, Region X Governor, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI).
As reported by Maritime Review, the Port of Cagayan de Oro, an international seaport in Mindanao, is the most modern outside Metro Manila. The seabed off the port is steep and reaches 1,000 meters deep at the entrance of the Macajalar Bay, which has a wide mouth.
Anchorage is ideal for transnational vessels with a depth of 18 meters, and is approximately 400 meters from the shoreline. The depth of safe anchorage is 60 fathoms. It has 14 berthing areas with varying drafts from 8-13 meters, totaling 954 meters, 1 RORO ramp, two 50-ton weighbridges, 126 reefer outlets, 2 hectares of open storage areas, and a 5,500 sqm container freight station. The port serves 14 domestic and 4 foreign shipping lines.
The Port of Cagayan de Oro is the busiest government port in Northern Mindanao in terms of cargo throughput. Dubbed as the Global Gateway to Mindanao, its strategic location makes it the entry and exit point of goods and passengers for the city of Cagayan de Oro and the provinces of Misamis Oriental, Camiguin, Agusan, Bukidnon, and Davao.
In 2017, total cargo throughput reached 9.5M MT, of which break bulk was 2.45M MT, dry bulk was 1.755M MT, liquid bulk was 1.648M MT, and containerized cargo was 3.647M MT. (Maritime Review PH, 2018).