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For Mactan channel ferries: Berthing areas needed

Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon (The Freeman) - February 15, 2016 - 9:00am

CEBU, Philippines - With the heavy traffic on the Mandaue-Mactan Bridge, the Cebu Port Authority is now scouting for more berthing spaces for barges that will be ferrying passengers from Lapu-Lapu City to Mandaue City and vice-versa.

CPA terminal administrator Joseph Uckung said that public beaches can be used as a berthing space for barges.

“Puwede man na magamit ang mga public beaches nga dungguanan aning mga barges,” said Uckung.

For now two areas in Lapu-Lapu City are being eyed as berthing space; one beside the General Milling Corp. and the other is Anton’s Wharf or the Marina Yacht Club in Barangay Pusok.

The berthing space in the Mandaue City side is the Ouano Wharf.

“Continuous ang atong meeting sa mga stakeholders para pag-identify asa pa nga mga areas nga puwedeng magamit as berthing areas,” Uckung said.

Kasamahan wharf

A wharf in Purok Gemelina, Barangay Poblacion, Lapu-Lapu City is ready for any barges or ferries to dock in.

Seeing the urgency, Samuel Mariñas, 53, said he is willing to let the public and the Lapu-Lapu City government use their family-owned Kasamahan Wharf.

“Aron paglikay… aron makuha-kuhaan ang trapiko. Nangita sila og lugar nga alternatibo nga makamenos sa trapiko. Ma-transport either ang mga tawo o sakyanan. They were looking for barges ug ferry boat nga mo-dunggo,” Mariñas, a barangay councilman, said yesterday.

The wharf, which is around 60 to 70 years old, was also used by the government during the aftermath of typhoon Ruping in 1990 to transport people to Ouano Wharf in Barangay Looc, Mandaue City, and neighboring piers in Cebu City, according to Mariñas.

This was after the Mandaue-Mactan Bridge was closed after it was rammed by the MV Sangko Elegance.

“Nahitabo man to nga nga dunay barko, overseas foreign vessel ba nga midunggo sa General Milling Corporation. Nahitabo to nga nakabuhi, nabunggo sa atong taytayan, dunay dakong repair. Sa maong panghitabo, mao ni ang main nga entrance ug exit – ang Kasamahan Wharf,” Mariñas said.

The wharf, which has an area of 1,339 square meters, is surrounded by small houses on two sides. There is also a basketball court just a few meters from the water. There were also a few damaged concrete posts by the shore.

Right after the emergency meeting of the Department of Public Works and Highways with Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes last week, Radaza said yesterday that she went to Kasamahan Wharf to see the area and found out that roads should be repaired.

“Amo nang natan-aw ang problem unya gi-discuss na sa engineering og katong mga duna’y mga atop (sa balay) nga musagyad posibleng (tangtangon) kay gamay ra man ang entrance. Once na gamiton na, ayuhon na namo ang dan,” Radaza said.

Radaza said Mariñas was not around when she spoke with other members of his family, asking them if they can use the Kasama-han Wharf while the bridge is being repaired.

Mariñas said there have been no formal negotiations yet but they are waiting for it to happen. He agreed road repairs in the area are an “immediate concern.”

Radaza, also said she and city engineers went to the Marina Yacht Club in Barangay Pusok saying that they also responded positively.

“Nianhi sad mi sa Anton’s, among gi-inspect ang areas. Ang tanan positive og response kay gusto sad sila motabang with the government sa situation about the bridge,” Radaza said.

Foreseeing possible traffic in Kasamahan Wharf, Radaza said they will deploy enforcers from City Traffic Management Systems to control the traffic flow.

As to the possible implementation of terminal fees at the Kasamahan Wharf, Radaza said they should not dwell on this as of now.

“At this moment, wala gyud ta’y gihuna-huna pa ana (sa government side). In fact, ang kato’ng mga barge ug ferries ug ang CPA are even saying that menusan gyud nila og maayo (ang terminal fees),” Radaza said.

Mariñas also said they have not yet talked about that issue with his family.

“No comment sa ko ana unless sabuton sa pamilya,” he said.

Pipe repairs

Meanwhile, Jorge Gabriente, OIC assistant general manager for technical services of Metropolitan Cebu Water District, said that under their second proposal submitted to JEGMA Construction and Development Corp. (JCDC) last Friday, instead of using stainless steel for the replacement of their pipeline support, they will instead used steel dipped in hot galvanized iron.

“In our first proposal, nibalibad gyud ang JEGMA. In our second proposal, wa pa sila’y tubag,” said Gabriente.

JCDC is the contractor for the repair and rehabilitation of the Mandaue-Mactan Bridge.

The bridge repair and rehabilitation cannot proceed until the MCWD pipeline support located under the bridge is repaired.

Gabriente said that the repair of their pipeline support would take about 35 days but they want the bridge and pipeline repairs to be done simultaneously.

MCWD, JCDC and DPWH-7 officials are set to have a meeting today to discuss the issue.

Houses to go

At least 50 houses under the Mandaue-Mactan Bridge are set to be demo-lished by the Department of Public Works and Highways to make way for the development there.

Mandaue City’s Housing and Urban Development Office (HUDA) head Tony Pet Juanico said based on their assessment there are 46 to 50 structures made of light and concrete materials will be affected, while the DPWH placed the figure at 53.

However, he said they have to know from the DPWH the demarcation line for the planned beautification and road construction projects under the bridge so they will know which structures have to be removed.

He said they will again sit down next week with the DPWH representatives to talk more of the project including the plans for the soon-to-be displaced city residents.

Juanico said they will decide whether it is should be the DPWH or the city to provide financial assistance to these families. Under the law, the government can grant financial assistance or a relocation site to a displaced family.

If it is the city Juanico said they have no more slots in their relocation sites, hence they will have to forward this concern to the City Council for the release of their financial aid.

“Right now wala’y available. We have two choices man, hatagan og financial assistance or relocation site… But rest assured Mandaue City is available to assist them,” he said.

However, the HUDA chief said since these are informal settlers some of these families may already have lots in 6.5-hectare lot in Barangay Paknaan, a new relocation site, but have refused to move out. He said that will also be part of the discussion when they meet again with the DPWH.

The beautification and alternate access road are part of the P129.6 million repair package for the old bridge undertaken by JCDC. Under the contract, the project, which was started last week, will be completed in 11 months. — Christell Fatima M. Tudtud and Liv G. Campo /BRP

 

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