CALAPAN CITY, Oriental Mindoro – The country’s biggest passenger terminal building (PTB) of the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) in Barangay San Antonio here is now 98 percent complete and will start operating next month, an official of the Philippine Ports Authority-Port Management Office (PPA-PMO) in Mindoro said Tuesday.
“Small finishings are being completed like the commissioning of escalator and the elevator but the launching is all set in March before the Holy Week,” said Engr. Margarito Dimailig, Engineering Services Division manager at PPA-PMO Mindoro, said in an interview.
He said PPA General Manager Jay Santiago and Transportation Undersecretary Elmer Sarmiento inspected on Jan. 10 the construction of the PHP353-million passenger terminal building which can accommodate 3,500 passengers at any given time.
The other terminal buildings of the PPA have a capacity of only 800 passengers.
The terminal building is also equipped with a prayer room, breastfeeding station, children’s playroom and clinic.
When completed, Dimailig said the passenger terminal building will be the biggest in the country.
Engr. Elvis Medalla, port manager of PPA-PMO Mindoro, said they will “give the public quality service and world-class facilities that they can use while waiting for their trips.”
The recent holidays saw thousands of passengers in the province lining up for their trips to Batangas but were stranded due to a shortage of ships, bad weather conditions, and the ongoing construction.
Based on the Port of Calapan data, the number of passengers on Jan. 3 was 16,086, the largest number recorded since Dec. 22 last year.
The project also considered the heavy volume of passengers from the Visayas and Mindanao that use the Calapan port to access Luzon using the Strong Republic Nautical Highway in Oriental Mindoro.
The passenger terminal building is targeted to be completed on Feb. 18, Dimailig noted. It will be operational in time for the expected surge of passengers for the summer vacation.
“Passengers can plan early for their trips and book online,” Dimailig said.
The previous administration of then President Rodrigo Duterte included the Calapan project in the list of 484 port projects undertaken by the Department of Transportation and the PPA starting July 2016.
The PPA said the new passenger terminal building is “expected to provide great convenience to passengers in Calapan Port by making their trip more pleasant, spared of long queues experienced in previous holiday seasons.” (Maria Tividad/PNA)