BASILAN - The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) turned over the newly completed Lamitan City expanded port worth P150 million on Friday.
Engr. Soler Undug, Basilan district engineer, said the port expansion – involving 80-meter long and 20-meter wide pier – cab accommodate more vessels, including Roll-on Roll-off, or Ro-Ro, boats. The project was funded by the ARMM’s Public Works and Highways through its 2016 infrastructure budget. Through the initiative of ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman, the construction of the project started in April 2016. Gov. Hataman, with local officials, will attend Friday’s turnover rites. The governor 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, Basilan; as well as 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,” Gov. Hataman said. The ARMM port management authority also distributed a CCTV package to Lamitan City port. Allan Pisingan, the Regional Ports Management Authority’s assistant general manager for operations, said the region in 2012 provided P40 million for the first expansion of the Lamitan port. He said the latest expansion will help the city to move more cargoes and goods. “The development of the ports in the region will help handle the smooth movement of goods and passengers,” Pisingan added. 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. (Bureau of Public Information)