MANILA: The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) has taken over the management and operations of Davao del Sur’s Malalag port, which it plans to modernize and upgrade to adapt to “international standards.” PPA General Manager Jay Santiago said the takeover of operations would pave the way for a “much-needed facelift as it has been underdeveloped since the port was devolved to the [local government unit] in May 2000.” The transfer was formalized through a recently signed memorandum of understanding.
The PPA said in a statement it was planning to spend an initial P500 million to improve port operations. “With PPA now at the helm, much bigger infrastructure development for the terminal is in the offing to spur economic growth not only in Malalag but to play a vital role in the economic boom in the province of Davao del Sur,” Santiago said. “The mayor already agreed to the proposed development of Malalag port, which will start at the end of this year, with an initial cost of P500 million,” he added. Malalag wharf is located in the municipality of Malalag in the southwest coastline of Malalag Bay, Davao del Sur. It is 25 kilometers from Digos and approximately 88 kilometers south of Davao City. Cargoes handled at the port include molasses, sugar, steel products, vehicle and heavy equipment and general cargoes.
PPA devolved the management and operations of the port to the local government of Malalag pursuant to Administrative Order No. 02-1998. Malalag continued to operate the port even if its contract expired on July 2011. Yet, under the control of the local government, the physical infrastructure as well as dredging and physical landside infrastructure remained underdeveloped. PPA said this prompted its entry into the scene. The PPA earlier said it was setting aside P7.42 billion in capital spending this year to implement several port projects in Iloilo, Gen. Santos, Cagayan de Oro and Zamboanga, among others.