Manila cruise port to open before end of Duterte term

October 16, 2017 at 15:30

Manila cruise port to open before end of Duterte term

To meet the growing demand for cruise lines in key Philippine destinations, a cruise-port facility will be opening in Manila before the end of the Duterte administration in 2022.

The Department of Tourism on Tuesday made this announcement during the signing of a memorandum of agreement on the Manila Cruise Port Master Plan and Feasibility Study.

Signatories include Undersecretary for Tourism Development Benito C. Bengzon Jr., Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority COO Pocholo Paragas, Cultural Center of the Philippines President Arsenio Lizaso.

“Our goal is to build before the end of the President’s term,” Paragas told reporters in an interview.

Paragas said the feasibility study alone will take 18 months to complete, while construction of the facility will take more or less two years.

“I think that [port] will take roughly one-and-a-half to two years after the feasibility study and then, eventually, let’s build the infrastructure around it—a mall, a multiuse facility will take years, but at least those can follow,” Paragas added. “Our concern right now for the country is there’s no specific port specifically for tourism.”

Paragas noted that the port will mark the beginning of increasing international port calls in the country, and the promotion of the Philippines as a cruise destination for international cruise lines.

Moreover, he said the new port is expected to alleviate traffic from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

 “If one of the reasons we’re doing this is to alleviate stress from the airport, I don’t think there’s a reason for us not to have a cruise port in Manila.”

He added that Manila was selected because it is the best place to “see the history of the Philippines”.

“There’s Intramuros, the post office…there’s a huge market for that, so we have to have these cruise people go there, see the history of the Philippines and look into our beaches,” he said.


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