By JUNE S. BLANCO
IMPROVED ports may serve best the population today but these may be insufficient in the coming years.
Rep. Erico Aristotle Aumentado (Bohol, 2nd District) made this observation after noting that development is dynamic.
Seafaring vessels are becoming bigger, bringing in and out of ports bigger batches of passengers and cargoes each time, he noted.
Aumentado said while expansion and extension of the ports of Clarin, Buenavista and Getafe towns are in place with the P60 million savings in the 2015 budget of the then Department of Transportation and Communications (DoTC), improvement must not stop there. The three ports had gotten P20 million each.
This early, he said, studies must already be made for the further development of these ports, specifically the establishment of roll on-roll off ramps and sturdy mooring facilities.
These facilities will enable bigger vessels to seek harbor or shelter should they be near these ports during storms or typhoons.
And while they are at it, the solon said the studies must include mooring facilities to accommodate power barges as well.
Aumentado is pushing for the development of local power sources. But, he pointed out, it will still be to Bohol’s advantage to be ready for power barges.
The gestation period for the more serious development of locally-generated power will be long, he admitted, hence the mooring facilities will be an advantage.
The Clarin, Getafe and Buenavista ports are also gateways to and from Bohol. The improvement expands the previously limited berthing areas that used to accommodate just one passenger banca at a time – leaving no more space for pump boats to dock.
The solon said he wanted to improve the gateways to make development come in.
He cited the case of Dubai that built alongside its international airport a hospital. Before long, he said, locators came in droves to set up businesses near the airport and the hospital because of the potentials for expansion.
As things are, he said, goods get to the people of Clarin, Getafe and Buenavista by shipments from Cebu to the ports of Ubay, Talibon or Tubigon – which are bigger – to be transferred by land.
The additional cost of the land trip increases the prices of these goods. The businessmen, however, merely pass on the increase to the consumers.
With the extended and widened ports, more goods at reasonable prices will be available in these and in neighboring towns. Fast crafts now at the Getafe port for regular daily trips from Cebu and back daily will soon also be familiar sights at the Clarin and Buenavista ports, Aumentado added.