The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) is ready to spend as much as P16 billion until the end of the Marcos administration to build priority projects meant to support inter-island transport.

PPA general manager Jay Santiago yesterday announced that the agency would pursue 14 big-ticket projects nationwide until 2028.

Yearly, the PPA allocates a budget ranging from P3.5 billion to P4 billion for project buildup, and Santiago sees the agency sustaining that amount over the next four years.

As such, Santiago said stakeholders can expect the PPA to invest as much as P16 billion to finish its remaining priorities under the Marcos administration. Broken down, the PPA is pursuing five projects in Luzon, six in the Visayas and three in Mindanao.

In Luzon, the PPA will expand the Port of Capinpin in Orion, Bataan and the Port of Currimao in Ilocos Norte. The agency will also improve the Port of Jose Panganiban in Camarines Norte and Port of Balogo in Camarines Sur to scale up trade and travel in the Bicol Region.

The PPA will also build a wharf in the Port of Claveria in Cagayan to serve the transport demand to the north of Luzon.

In Visayas, the PPA has set a pipeline of expansion and improvements for ports in Bohol, Leyte, Samar and Negros Occidental.

In Mindanao, the PPA plans to put up a cargo port in Dapa, Surigao del Norte; upgrade the cargo berth in the Port of Sasa in Davao City; and expand the Port of Plaridel in Misamis Occidental.

However, Santiago said changes in infrastructure spending may occur between now and 2028, as his agency wants to prioritize injecting the needed funds of the government. The PPA turns over one of the highest dividends among state-run firms.

In 2023, the PPA remitted a record P5.06 billion to the Bureau of the Treasury to sustain its run as one of the largest remitters among government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs). The agency aims to increase its dividends to minimize the fiscal gap of the government.

'If you will notice on an annual basis, since 2016, the dividends have increased by a minimum of half a billion a year, so expect me to prioritize dividends over projects,' Santiago said.

Under Republic Act 7656, or the Dividends Law, GOCCs are mandated to remit at least 50 percent of their net earnings to the government.


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