Puerto Princesa, TIEZA chip in to build P100M wharf for visitors of underground river
PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Palawan — A sophisticated and world-class integrated wharf worth P100 million, is expected to rise by the middle 2018 at Sitio Sabang, Barangay Cabayugan, home of the world-famous Puerto Princesa Underground River (PPUR).
Elizabeth Maclang, protected area superintendent, said the project called Sabang Integrated Wharf Development would be a partnership project between the park management, the city government under Mayor Lucilo Bayron, and the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA).
“This year, we concentrated on the conduct of environmental studies to determine what kinds of impact the wharf project would entail. UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) will not allow us to just construct a world-class boat terminal without the environmental impact assessment (EIA) to evaluate likely effects on marine resources, inter-related socio-economic, cultural, and human-health,” Maclang said.
Designed by AC Ong Consulting Inc., (ACOCI), the project would require the creation of around two hectares of new land from the sea for a wharf that would have terminal building, parking area that is 200 meters away from the beach, breakwater, drop off area, community plaza, service and utilities area, seaside boardwalk, and three boat docking areas.
“The design was worth P15-million and it was from TIEZA. The amount needed to implement the construction is P100-million as it would have too, a wastewater treatment facility,” she said.
Aside from TIEZA’s P50 million fund which Puerto Princesa lobbied for, Maclang said the city government also allocated P10 million to see the realization of the boat terminal project.
The remaining amount, which is estimated to be PHP40 million, will come from the income of the PPUR generated from entrance fees.
“The park’s income can provide the remaining amount that would needed. If in the past we can earn around P5 million during the peak season, now the park is already producing an income of P7 million to P10 million. It was very fortunate that we already raised the cost of our entrance fee,” she stated.
The proposed wharf can accommodate an estimated 100 to 200 visitors every hour and will also have a mini-museum about the PPUR which can be visited by the tourists while waiting for their boat rides to enter the subterranean river. (PNA)