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FOR three years now, government has been trying to get a P580-million loan to dredge and deepen the sea near Cebu City’s port, so that larger cargo vessels and cruise ships can dock there.
But the loan application of the Cebu Port Authority (CPA) with the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) remains on hold, said General Manager Dennis Villamor.
The project is meant to dredge the sea lane from the Cebu International Port (CIP) to the area near the South Road Properties (SRP). It is expected to deepen the lane to 12 meters, from its present eight meters.
Loan processing started in 2010 and the DBP has reportedly approved it, but no fund can be released until more agencies weigh in on the project.
A policy adopted by the Aquino administration requires an endorsement from the Monetary Board of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to the Department of Finance (DOF).
“Upon endorsement of the Monetary Board, the DOF will approve it. The DBP cannot go into a loan agreement with CPA unless there’s a clearance from the Monetary Board and the finance department,” Villamor said.
The Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC), previously under Secretary Mar Roxas, had approved the dredging project. However, Secretary Joseph Abaya ordered a reevaluation of lined up projects by the legal department.
This has prompted the CPA Board to request Secretary Abaya to facilitate the agency’s approval of the dredging project.
Villamor said the dredging of the seawaters off Cebu’s ports will allow bigger vessels to dock at CIP and deliver more imported shipments.
Villamor said that they are including in the dredging project some new retaining walls to prevent the berthing areas from collapsing.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 20, 2013.
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Link: P580-M loan for port dredging still on hold – Sun.Star

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