SHARIFF AGUAK, Maguindanao: The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) will turn over the newly completed P150-million Lamitan City expanded port this Friday to officials of Basilan province.
Basilan district engineer Soler Undug said the port expansion – involving an 80-meter long and a 20-meter wide pier – would be able to accommodate more vessels, including Roll-on Roll-off (Ro-Ro) boats.
The project was funded by the ARMM-Department of PublicWorks and Highways under Regional Secretary Son Mustapha Loong through its 2016 infrastructure budget.
ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman, who initiated the project in April 2016, said the regional government will continue to rehabilitate and improve the region’s ports.
The ARMM operates base ports in Jolo, Sulu; Bongao, Tawi-Tawi; and Lamitan City in Basilan.
It also operates the sub-ports of Siasi in Sulu; Maluso in Basilan; and Mapun, Sitangkai and Sibutu in Tawi-Tawi.
The regional government also exercises regulatory powers over six private ports/wharves operating in the region.
“It will be an economic gain. With a bigger port, delivery of services would be more efficient and effective,” Hataman said.
The ARMM port management authority has installed closed-circuit television (CCTV) unit at the Lamitan City port.
Allan Pisingan, Regional Ports Management Authority’s (RPMA) assistant general manager for operations, said the region in 2012 provided P40 million for the first expansion of Lamitan port.
He added that the latest expansion will help the city to move more cargos and goods.
Lamitan’s economy is based primarily on agriculture, producing rice, tobacco and garlic.
Its major agricultural products include copra, rubber and coffee.
At present, the Lamitan City-Zamboanga City route is served by two passenger vessels.