• GILBERT P. BAYORAN
A memorandum of agreement was signed yesterday by the municipality of EB Magalona in Negros Occidental, and the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), for the construction, management, and operations of the proposed municipal port in Brgy. Tuburan, EB Magalona.
On behalf of the municipal government, Mayor Marvin Malacon signed the MOA with PPA, which was represented by Engr. Rodel Lagmay, acting head of PPA Port Management Office (PMO) – Negros Occidental, which was held at the Asenso Hall at the town public plaza.
The MOA will be sent to the Office of PPA General Manager Atty. Jay Daniel Santiago for signing, as he was only represented by Lagmay during the signing ceremony.
Since he assumed office in 2016, Malacon said it has been a vision of his administration to revive the old port in Barangay Tuburan. At the same time, he also thanked the PPA for supporting his vision and to make this dream of every Saraviahanon come true.
With this development, EB Magalona will soon have two ports: the private port now operating in Brgy. Manta-angan, and soon to be Saravia Municipal Port, to be operated by the national government.
This would mean that EB Magalona will soon become a busy gateway to Negros Island for those coming from Panay Island, Malacon said.
“The soon-to-be-constructed Saravia Municipal Port is expected to bring more economic opportunities to EB Magalona, and will have a ripple effect in terms of growth and development of the town, and will be felt even by the next generations,” he stressed.
Matulac said that the Saravia Municipal Port will be “another legacy” of the Malacon administration.
The Sangguniang Bayan, led by Matulac, unanimously passed Resolution No. 2023-170 on November 13, 2023, authorizing Malacon to sign the MOA with the PPA on the management and operation of the Saravia Municipal Port.
With the MOA signing, Malacon endorsed the management, operation, development, and maintenance of the port to the PPA.
For his part, Lagmay said they will endorse the MOA to the PPA Board of Directors for technical evaluation, and for funding next year.
Lagmay lauded the initiative of Malacon to revive the old port in the town by partnering with the PPA.
He added that the new port will provide an alternate route for travel between Panay and Negros islands, and will serve as a “catalyst for change” in economic trade in the region.
Also attending the signing ceremony were members of the Sangguniang Bayan, led by Vice Mayor Eric Matulac, and barangay Tuburan officials led by Rolly Isugon, among others.*