Government Officials Express Support for the Tri-City Ferry System Project Implementation
February 24, 2023
Chief executives from the Philippine cities of Alaminos, Dagupan, and San Fernando, together with officials from the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Center, National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Region I, and Poro Point Management Corporation (PPMC) committed to implement the Tri-City Ferry System (TCFS) project via PPP.
Once operational, the ferry system is expected to decongest traffic and provide a sustainable alternative to the existing land-based transport system connecting the three cities.
The stakeholders made their statements of support during the ceremonial turnover of the CDIA-supported project preparation study (PPS) on 16 February 2023 in Pasig City.
The event spotlighted the attendance of ADB Country Director for the Philippines Kelly Bird, 1st District of Pangasinan Province Representative Arthur F. Celeste, Dagupan City Vice Mayor Bryan Kua, Alaminos Acting Mayor Jan Marionne Fontelera, PPP Center Deputy Executive Director Eleazar Ricote, NEDA I Assistant Regional Director Irenea Ubungen, and PPMC President and Chief Executive Officer Atty. Felix Racadio.
“Rest assured that the City of Alaminos and the 1st District of Pangasinan will be part of this very important project,” committed Congressman Arthur Celeste, who is also one of the proponents of the TCFS project.
Alaminos and Dagupan in Pangasinan Province, and San Fernando in La Union are major economic, educational, and tourism hubs in the Ilocos Region. Despite being located along the coast of Lingayen Gulf, only land-based transport systems connect them, making travel inefficient.
Through NEDA, PPP Center and the three cities earlier sought CDIA’s support to prepare the feasibility study and preliminary engineering design and the required documents for a PPP tender.
Following the completion of the PPS, which was undertaken from March to December 2022, TCFS was found to be economically and financially viable with an economic internal rate of return (EIRR) of 15.1%.
The study recommended that the suitable PPP modality for the project is Design, Build, Finance, Operate and Transfer following the Government Pay model. This scheme will build the confidence of investors as the government assumes the market risk. The concessionaire, on the other hand, is expected to develop and manage the project as well as finance its construction and operations.
NEDA 1 Assistant Regional Director Irenea Ubungen, while expressing appreciation for everyone’s contribution and making a similar commitment of support, called for continued collaboration.
“It is our collective responsibility to sustain the momentum of our initiatives and bring about the change that we all desire,” she said. “It [PPS] has been a learning experience for us and I believe that this will be the start of future partnerships as we mainstream public-private partnership project implementation,” she added.
The PPP Center led the discussions on the critical issues that need to be addressed and the next steps for taking the project forward after the completion of the PPS.
Photos during the ceremonial turnover: