[ Manila Bulletin Online ] February 21, 2009
Mike U. Crismundo
DAVAO CITY – Economic boom continues to be experienced in this southern frontier city as more domestic and international vessels are expected to come in with the newly expanded Sasa Wharf here, government officials said yesterday.
Officials of the Regional Development Council (RDC), Mindanao Economic Development Council (MEDCo) and Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) said the expanded Sasa Wharf is all set for the arrival of more cargo vessels from Southeast Asia, the United States, Middle East and the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asian Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA).
"This Mindanao’s southern frontier city has become more and more progressive and developed while income and employment generation is also soaring high," said MEDCo chair Virgilio Leyretana.
The MEDCo, RDC, PPA and even the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and National Economic Development Council (NEDA) have projected that the Sasa Wharf expansion will be noticed in the global economic activity.
Last week, President Arroyo spearheaded the inauguration of the R420 million Davao Port Expansion Project at the Sasa Wharf here.
The port expansion project has two components – Phase I, which involves the rehabilitation of an existing 42.35 meter by 18 meter quay, and Phase II, which includes the construction of a 3, 179-square-meter reinforced concrete wharf, the 13,180-square-meter back up area, mooring and fendering area, drainage system, port lighting and rockworks.
Mrs. Arroyo is also eyeing to improve the services of the Roll-on, Roll-off (Ro-Ro) facility at the Sasa Wharf, Samal Island and in Pantukan, Davao Oriental.
The Ro-Ro project is one of the flagship programs of the Arroyo administration.
Sasa Wharf is also one of the premier export and import hubs in the country today, it was learned.
Last Thursday, Mrs. Arroyo came back here and met with prospective foreign investors from Thailand and China in the Island Garden City of Samal, in front of Sasa Wharf.
The Chief Executive toured the foreign investors at Samal Mariculture Park.
Mariculture Park has generated 9,000 jobs for the direct services and 6,000 jobs for ancillary services, it was learned.
Meanwhile, village officials in Sasa are anticipating more cargo handling and passenger vessels.
The local officials are also expecting more jobs with the newly completed Sasa Port expansion and that this development would become a factor for more businesses to sprout, such as eateries and restaurants.
Sasa Wharf is also less than two kilometers away from the Davao International Airport.
Barangay Sasa will also be hosting the R870 million Passenger Terminal Building project, which is a world-class quality, it was also gathered.
Along with the passenger terminal building, the project will include the development of parking areas and Ro-Ro ramp, a greeter building, and a gate complex.