BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Himamaylan City in Negros Occidental is preparing to finance major projects with its P500-million loan, that will include the purchase of two dredgers for coastal areas, the development of the Aguisan Port, and flood control projects, among others.
Mayor Raymund Tongson said Saturday that they will start dredging and desilting rivers and other waterways by the third quarter of this year.
The dredging project in the coastal areas of Himamaylan is similar to the design of First Terradev Corp. for EB Magalona, Tongson said, adding that he was also assured by the private firm that they will shift operations in the city and that of Hinigaran and Binalbagan after the completion of its project in EB Magalona.
Local government units that may enter into agreements with Terradev for the dredging and desiltation of their waterways will not pay for it, as stated in the joint memorandum of the departments of Environment and Natural Resources, Public Works and Highways, Interior and Local Government, and of Transportation.
Tongson said it will be a blessing for Himamaylan if the Terradev project will push through, as more taxes will be collected by the city.
As to the development of the Aguisan Port, Tongson said they have already deepened it since 2019, and barges have started docking at the port.
He also said they have been discussing with the Philippine Ports Authority the takeover of the port’s management for several years now.
“If the PPA will give us a longer span for the port, the city government already has a budget for the expansion of the operations,” Tongson said.
He also said they will establish esplanades in the boulevard in two poblacion barangays, similar to that of Iloilo City, and the barangay halls will be relocated near the river. Tongson said many have already invested in Himamaylan, including three banks, with another coming in, several restaurants, and food chain stores from Bacolod City, while a Ceres bus terminal is also being eyed.*