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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

SLEEPING DRAGON OF THE SOUTH: Iloilo The Next Big Thing Series Part 6: Iloilo - Guimaras Island Ferry Terminal

 Propose Guimaras - Iloilo Ferry Terminal
@ Rotary Park at Fort San Pedro ( Parola ) Iloilo City

Two international firms are interested to invest in the public-private partnership projects of Iloilo City that are still in the pre-feasibility study stage, Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog said.

The pre-feasibility studies of both the central business district and Guimaras-Iloilo ferry terminal (GIFT) projects were already evaluated to pave the way for a formal feasibility study that will be submitted and recommended to the Regional Development Council 6 and the National Economic Development Authority 6.

Mabilog said he will ask for an authority from the Sangguniang Panlungsod to sign a document for the eventual proclamation by President Benigno Simeon Aquino III for the almost one-hectare Rotary Park at Port San Pedro for the GIFT project.

Embodied in the pre-feasibility study at no cost to the city government and submitted by Concept Consultants headed by Nathaniel Von Einsedel, the project proposal was approved by the Cities Development Initiative Asia.

The GIFT project will connect Guimaras island-province to Iloilo City through a modern terminal for ferry boats and calls for the improvement of Jordan and Buenavista wharves in Guimaras to complement the Iloilo City ferry terminal for Buenavista and Jordan ferries.

Mabilog said President Aquino is enthusiastic about the project and has ordered the Presidential Management Staff to review the Iloilo City project for possible foreign and national government funding.

He said the Asian Development Bank is also expected to help in the project by providing a loan facility complemented by an ideal public and private partnership with 51 percent from the private and 49 percent from the government.

Under the same PPP set-up, the central business district is expected to be converted into a modern multi-storey edifice for wet and dry sections and other stalls.

A CBD pre-feasibility study was also conducted by Concept Consultants calling for the rehabilitation of the Iloilo central market into a world-class shopping center complete with a podium and mall stores.

During the City Council’s regular session on September 8 this year, the issue was given priority attention by the city councilors who wanted a new and modern ferry terminal at Fort San Pedro.

City Council committee on rules chairman Joshua Alim said the authority given to Mabilog will pave the way for the establishment of a multi-million peso modern Guimaras Iloilo Ferry Terminal (GIFT) project in the area of abandoned Rotary Park aimed to service commuters between Iloilo City and the island province of Guimaras.

A pre-feasibility study was conducted by Concept Consultants more than two years ago and funded by Asian Development Bank for the development of a ferry terminal in Parola Fort San Pedro area and the ferry terminals in the municipalities of Buenavista and Jordan in Guimaras.

With a Presidential Proclamation over the area, the project is expected to be given priority attention by the regional development council and National Economic Development Authority for possible government or foreign funding.

ILOILO CITY, Iloilo – The construction of the P135-million Iloilo-Guimaras Ferry Terminal will soon start, with the formal signing of an agreement October 1 between the Iloilo City government and the DoubleDragon Properties Corporation, which has been contracted for the project.

Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog said the existing Parola Terminal in Iloilo City will serve as a world-class ferry facility for passengers going to and from the neighboring island province of Guimaras.

The 1.3-hectare land allocated for the project will include a state-of-the-art ferry terminal, a mini-mall and a fueling station for pump boats.

“This is another public-private partnership (PPP) project that aims to boost tourism and investment opportunities in both Iloilo and Guimaras province,” remarked Mabilog.

Owned by billionaire Edgar Sia II of Mang Inasal food chain fame, DoubleDragon Properties Corp. will build-to-operate the ferry terminal within a 25-year period.

“The city is not spending a single centavo for the project, but it will have a share from the revenues and taxes which will be placed in the city’s general fund,” Mabilog said.

Said ferry terminal will rise in what used to be the Rotary Park complex, which was turned over last year to the Iloilo City government through Presidential Proclamation 201.

The complex will also host the Iloilo district office of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).