by Homer R. Jajalla
Mahinog, Camiguin (17 June) -- The Municipal Council presided by Vice Mayor Rogerio C. Acle passed a resolution to request the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) for an expansion of port delineated zone at Benoni Port by another 3.90 hectares of land area.
At present, the Philippine Ports Authority is undertaking an P11 million Phase 1 project for development of Benoni Port and resettlement of affected families living near the port area, which is nearly completed.
According to Valiente D. Camay, Benoni, PPA Terminal Manager, the provincial government under Governor Jurdin Jesus M. Romualdo has recommended the Benoni port phase 2 project to cater to the long term needs and projected increases in port traffic.
Benoni port in the town of Mahinog, province of Camiguin is part of major routes of the central nautical highway to and from the island of Mindanao and the rest of the country.
"There is an urgent need to expand the port delineated zone at Benoni port because the present area requirement for passenger terminal, parking areas and related passenger amenities alone, excluding roads, easement, queuing lanes for rolling cargoes and open storage areas for other commodities, already consumes more than half the existing land area of the port", the resolution reads.
"There is an available 3.90 hectares of land adjacent to the original port delineated zone which is available and appropriate for such purposes, although presently occupied with informal settlers numbering to about 250 households," it added.
"The local government of Mahinog, together with the provincial government of Camiguin, has already identified an appropriate relocation site for the would-be affected settlers in the event the area will be used eventually for port developmental activities and further commits with the assistance of the PPA to facilitate their timely and orderly transfer thereto," officials said.
The resolution cited the rapid economic development and progress of the Municipality of Mahinog and that in province of Camiguin, in general, is much dependent on the capability and efficiency of its ports, it being an island province with eco-tourism as its leading industry.
In the same resolution, the Philippine Ports Authority was also asked to provide funds for the needed financial assistance to about 250 households that would be eventually affected and covered by the expanded Benoni port zone, in order to facilitate their removal, transfer and relocation to sites provided by the LGU.
According to the provincial appraisal committee, a total amount of 5.6 million is needed to pay the just compensation of some 250 households that will be affected by the port expansion project. (Mahinog Municipal Information Office)