Posted on March 1, 2023
THE Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) is eyeing the privatization of the Iloilo Commercial Port Complex (ICPC), Panay Island’s premier port and one of the country’s most important seaports and trade hubs.
ICPC is among the four major ports in the country eyed to be privatized as part of PPA’s efforts to transform major ports into world-class facilities and to complement the operations of the congested Ports of Manila.
The major ports in Cagayan de Oro, Zamboanga, and General Santos are among those that are determined to be privatized since 2014.
Meanwhile, the bidding of contracts for the operations and management of ICPC is expected to be done by the PPA Head Office on June 30, 2023, says Nelson Caabay Jr., acting manager of the engineering services division of Port Management Office (PMO) Panay/Guimaras.
Caabay added that as of to date, only one major port operator the has signified the intention to revive, develop and operate ICPC.
He also said that PPA is still finalizing the terms of reference for the said project.
The PMO Iloilo is expecting significant infrastructure development following the privatization of ICPC.
“The ships that are berthing here now are self-sustaining, they have their cranes to transfer their cargoes from ship to shore. But with the upcoming infrastructure development, the concessionaire will bring in ship-to-shore rubber-tired gantry cranes and mobile cranes to hasten the loading and unloading of cargoes from ships. This spells a faster turn-around for ships in ICPC,” Caabay said.
ICPC to berth all foreign ships
Herbert Navarro, manager of PMO Iloilo’s Port Services Division added that initial information from the PPA revealed that ICPC is seen to become a full-foreign port following the privatization.
“It is currently catering to local and domestic ships, but with the ensuing port modernization, ICPC is expected to fully receive vessels straight from other countries. They no longer have to pass through Manila. This will lessen the vessel traffic in the Port of Manila and significantly lessen the cost for ship owners. This will also cause a domino effect in the infrastructure development outside of ICPC in terms of transporting cargoes,” Navarro said.
Navarro added that all domestic ships that are currently berthing in ICPC will then be moved to Baseport Fort San Pedro.
In 2022, a total of 758 domestic ships and 146 foreign ships were received in ICPC.
Caabay said that the privatization in under the Port Terminal Management Contract, wherein the winning bidder will pay a concession fee includes the repair, construction and provision of major port equipment at the said port.
ICPC is located in Loboc, Lapuz District of Iloilo.