Tri-City Ferry System Project Preparation Study Makes Headway

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Alaminos, Dagupan and San Fernando are three major cities along the coast of Lingayen Gulf in northwestern Philippines. Despite this, only land-based transport routes connect them, making travel inefficient in terms of distance and time.

With support from CDIA through a project preparation study (PPS), the cities are planning to develop a tri-city ferry system (TCFS) that will serve as an alternative to the current land-based transport, thereby offering a faster, more efficient and reliable intermodal transport system. The project will be implemented via a public-private partnership (PPP) mechanism.

“This regional sea transport system aims to cut the travel time of passengers across the cities,” says Kathleen Jovellanos, CDIA Capacity Development Specialist leading the PPS. “It will connect municipalities in the northern Philippines with tourism points in the Province of Pangasinan, as well as large concentration of resources in the Province of La Union. When this project is implemented, the new connection among the three cities can stimulate economic development in the region through tourism and funneling of resources.”

At a workshop on 20 May 2022 attended by over 50 city officials and members of the technical working group, CDIA consulting team shared the progress of the PPS at inception phase. They also discussed the key issues that can affect the PPS outputs and timelines based on their initial observations, and the approach and methodologies they will undertake for subsequent tasks.

They presented the results of their preliminary assessments, including the conditions of the proposed project sites; the environmental issues, climate risks and geological hazards in the proposed terminals that can impact operations; and financial health of the three cities.

CDIA recommended conducting a more in-depth urban transport sector analysis and demand assessment of the TCFS facilities to determine not only their viability, but also the type and vessels needed, terminal capacity and other associated amenities.

The team also discussed the scope, methodology and expected outputs for the stakeholder engagement; legal appraisal; economic appraisal; environmental, social and gender due diligence; climate risk and vulnerability assessment; and institutional and capacity development roadmap that they will develop/carry out after the inception phase.

The series of assessments will guide the formulation of an investment plan and outline designs for priority facilities.

As TCFS will be prepared in readiness for private sector downstream implementation, CDIA will prepare documents necessary for the call for PPP proposals. These documents include instruction for bidders, request for quotation/proposal, project information memorandum and draft PPP agreement, among others.

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