Maritime execs in Central Visayas say stopping shipyard operations in Consolacion bad for vessel seaworthiness
CEBU CITY –– The Maritime Industry Authority in Central Visayas (Marina-7) has expressed concern that removing the shipyards in Barangay Tayud in Consolacion town to pave the way for the local government’s reclamation project will affect the seaworthiness of many vessels.
Marina-7 Director Marc Anthony Pascua said the shipyards in Consolacion helped a lot in making sure ships are in shape and safe to accommodate passengers.
Although there are other shipyards on the island, he said those located in Consolacion are the nearest to Cebu City’s ports.
“Its proximity to the city is indispensable,” he told the Inquirer.
If operations of shipyards in Consolacion were stopped, Pascua said it would put at risk the vessels’ seaworthiness and affect the safety of passengers and cargoes.
“Under the maritime industry’s development plan, we encourage the modernization of vessels. We want all of them to be safe. But how can we do that if we lack shipyards?” he said.
Maintenance and dry docking of boats, he added, are necessary to ensure the seaworthiness of vessels.
For several decades now, the area to be reclaimed is an anchorage area where vessels wait until there’s berthing space at the Cebu port.
It also serves as a shelter for ships during storms.
Gordon Alan Joseph, president of the Cebu Business Club, said reclamation projects are not what Cebu needed at this point.
“What is interesting is that there are so many LGUs (local government units) who want reclamation projects. Are they necessary? I don’t think so and I would prefer focusing on solving the urban problems we face: mainly flooding, environmental degradation, water supply, garbage, sewage, and traffic, before investing in a massive project that may take decades to achieve the return of investment,” he said in a statement sent to the Inquirer.
“Let’s fix what land assets we have first. Let’s fix our terrible urban problems first,” he added.
Consolacion Vice Mayor Teresa Alegado, in an interview on Monday, said it was about time to get rid of shipyards in the municipality to pave the way for a new environment.
“They (shipyards) have been there for about six decades now. I think that’s enough already. As an official of this town, I need to prepare our municipality for the next generation,” she said.
At least 10 shipyard operators have sent a letter to Director William Cuñado of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ Environmental Management Bureau (EMB), formally opposing the reclamation project in Consolacion in consortium with a private entity La Consolacion Seafront Development Corp.
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