THE P5 billion expansion of the Davao International Container Terminal, Inc. (DICT) has been completed, the terminal’s owner, the Antonio Floirendo Group of Companies announced, saying that the new facility will support the anticipated economic growth and development of Mindanao, especially within the Davao Region.
Strategically located in Panabo City, the DICT is the anchor project of an agricultural and industrial complex being developed by the Anflo Management and Investment Corp. (ANFLOCOR) to provide for the logistical requirements of various businesses anticipated to expand to Mindanao in the next few years.
A major component of President Rodrigo Duterte’s 10-point socioeconomic program is increased spending on infrastructure, particularly in provincial areas. The completion of the DICT project is expected to improve the logistics backbone of Mindanao’s economy as well as create jobs in areas that have historically been economic laggards.
The government’s policy of dispersing economic activities to the countryside is very consistent with the DICT’s purposes. As explained by Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, “Mindanao will be the main beneficiary of economic reforms. It is only an added factor that the President is from this island as well as the Speaker of the House and President of the Senate. The more important and substantial reason is that the island has the most headroom for growth.”
A 70-hectare export processing zone and an 88-hectare mixed-use township complement the DICT in Panabo, which is a component city in the province of Davao del Norte. The city is also part of the Davao Metropolitan Area, the biggest metropolis in terms of land area in the Philippines.
On Friday, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte led the inauguration of the DICT, a modern container port established under a joint venture of ANFLOCOR and Dole-Stanfilco, the leading producers and exporters of fresh Cavendish bananas in the Philippines.
The expansion of the DICT increases its annual handling capacity from the current 300,000 twenty-foot equivalent units to 800,000 TEUs.
Alex Valoria, president and CEO of the Antonio Floirendo Group said, from two quay cranes, DICT now have four quay cranes, eight RTG (Rubber Tired Gantry) cranes and other various container handling equipment.
The container port has an area of 11 hectares, backed up by a 15-hectare container yard. It is adjacent to a 70-hectare export-processing zone, whose locators will enjoy the benefits of duty-free importation of equipment and raw materials and income tax holiday.
There are nine shipping lines calling on the DICT, including American President Lines (APL), Maersk MCC, CMA CGM, Wan Hai Shipping Lines, Advance Container Lines (ACL), Regional Container Lines (RCL), Pacific International Lines (PIL), Mariana Express Lines and Cosco Shipping Lines.
Negotiations are ongoing for additional shipping lines, which are due to call on the DICT soon.
Formerly known as San Vicente Terminal and Brokerage Services, Inc. (SVT), DICT has a long history in port operations, servicing the stevedoring and arrastre requirements of break bulk shipments of fresh produce like bananas and pineapples at the Tadeco Wharf.
As more and more cargoes are being shipped via refrigerated containers, DICT transformed to become the industry leader in port logistics in Mindanao. Offering world-class container terminal facilities and services in this heavily agricultural island region in the Philippines, the DICT helps ensure the global competitiveness of Mindanao’s export-grade products.
Tadeco, or Tagum Agricultural Development Company, Inc. is the largest contiguous banana plantation in the world. It is the flagship company of ANFLOCOR and is considered the global leader in the banana industry in terms of yield per hectare.
The Floirendos turned Panabo into an agro-industrial city and is now known as the “Banana Capital of the Philippines” due to numerous banana plantations scattered throughout the city.
Tadeco, which covers around 7,500 hectares of banana plantations in Panabo, annually produces and exports millions of boxes of Cavendish bananas, which is the main economic driver of the city.
“We are the world’s most efficient banana producer as we are number one in the world in terms of export yield per hectare. We continue to expand aggressively in banana operations,” Valoria said.
Tadeco is still growing as it ventures into other areas outside of Panabo. To date, the company’s banana expansion program is nearing a commitment worth P1.5 billion while the first phase of its new pineapple project will cost P1.2-billion.
“These investments in a very depressed area in Mindanao, give us additional excitement in this project as we will be able to significantly uplift the condition of the people in these impoverished communities, as we have been able to do so in our other recent projects,” Valoria said.