Upgraded Port of Babak to benefit residents

DAVAO CITY (PIA) - The newly upgraded Port of Babak, the main gateway to the Island Garden City of Samal (IGaCoS) is seen to benefit residents and visitors of the Island Garden City of Samal with expanded facilities and new amenities.

The upgrading estimated at P41.85 million involves the construction and completion of the Port Operations Building (POB) which also serves as the Port Terminal Building. The new facility can handle 250 passengers.

Among the new amenities include new comfort rooms with provisions for Persons with Disabilities and Senior Citizens, Nursing and Diaper Changing Area, Prayer Room and security/inspection area.

The Port of Babak, a former municipal pier of the erstwhile Municipality of Babak, once had a small waiting area for passengers and with the growing number of passengers going to and from Davao mainland there is a need for a bigger and modern building.

Before the pandemic (2019) the pier handled about 6,480 passengers per day. It was reduced to 4,742 passengers a day during the pandemic in 2020 but it hiked to 5,178 passengers per day (as of January to April 2021).

“It will be very beneficial to our embarking passengers especially to those waiting in the barges, they can make use of the facilities in the port operations building,” said Ariel Lonsaga, acting terminal manager in the Port of Babak.

He said the added facilities ensures safer travel particularly during the pandemic when everything is controlled inside the building.

The Port of Babak development is part of the Build, Build, Build program of the government particularly in the upgrade of several ports across the country as implemented by the Department of Transportation.

The Port of Babak POB which was completed in December 24, 2020 is one of the 27 port projects completed last year. Around 16 of these projects will be inaugurated this 2021.

The development of Babak Port was spearheaded by Philippine Ports Authority led by General Manager Jay Santiago with the full support of Department of Transportation Secretary Art Tugade who saw the need for an upgrade.

“Noon ‘ho, siksikan at nabibilad ang mga pasahero sa ilalim ng maliit na passenger shed habang naghihintay ng kanilang biyahe patungong Davao City. Walang maayos na silungan at salat na salat sa pasilidad ang pantalan (In the past it was jampacked and passengers were exposed to the sun under a small passenger shed while waiting for their trips to Davao City, there was no proper shelter and facilities in the port was very lacking)," Sec. Tugade describes the once deplorable conditions of the port. (PIA/RG Alama)


Source: Philippines Information Agency (pia.gov.ph)

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