Iloilo Port set for modernization as ICTSI secures 25-year concession
Artist’s rendition of ICTSI’s vision for the Visayas Container Terminal (VCT)
The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) has awarded International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) a 25-year concession contract to develop and operate the Iloilo Commercial Port Complex (ICPC) in Western Visayas. This marks a significant step towards transforming ICPC into a modern, efficient, and premier gateway for the region.
ICTSI received from PPA a Notice of Award for its sole bid to operate the ICPC in accordance with PPA Administrative Order (AO) No. 03-2016 or the Port Terminal Management Regulatory Framework (PTMRF). ICTSI will begin operations of the facility upon contract signing and PPA’s issuance of the Notice to Proceed.
Christian R. Gonzalez, ICTSI executive vice president, said: “We are elated and grateful to be entrusted with the redevelopment of the Iloilo Port. We recognize the port’s pivotal role in driving Iloilo's economic and social growth. Our comprehensive proposal outlines significant investments in infrastructure upgrades, cargo-handling equipment, and operational efficiency measures, all aimed at transforming the Iloilo Port into a premier gateway.”
Located at the heart of Iloilo City, ICPC serves the province of Iloilo and and the entire Panay Island, in Western Visayas of the Philippines. It is located away from the older port facilities on the Southern coast of Panay Island, in Panay Gulf. It is one of the country’s safest and most natural harbors with Guimaras Island shielding the port from storms and making it ideal for harboring ships and vessels.
Visayas Container Terminal (VCT), the future name of the facility after handover to ICTSI – is a critical gateway for trade in the Western Visayas. However, capacity efficiency constraints have hampered its full potential. ICTSI's involvement aims to tackle these challenges head-on, unlocking the port's economic engine.
VCT has 627 meters of operational quay length and 20 hectares of land for container and general cargo storage, warehousing, and other cargo-handling activities. Upon signing of the contract, ICTSI will focus on improving terminal productivity and service quality by investing in the development and rehabilitation of the terminal infrastructure and the deployment of cargo-handling equipment.
Former Senate President Franklin Drilon, a native of Iloilo, expressed bullishness about the PPA’s decision to grant a contract for the re-development of VCT to ICTSI: “With its impressive track record, ICTSI is well-positioned to efficiently manage the ports and address the longstanding congestion issues plaguing our ports, which have deterred potential investors. The decision to partner with ICTSI is a significant step forward in transforming VCT into a modern, world-class port facility and accommodating more domestic and international shipments. This will position Iloilo as a key driver of economic progress in the Philippines.”
Expressing his appreciation for the support received, Gonzalez adds: "We extend our sincere gratitude to the Iloilo stakeholders and officials, particularly, Governor Arthur Defensor and Mayor Jerry Trenas and former Senator Franklin Drilon, who believe in ICTSI's vision for the Visayas Container Terminal. This is our first project in the Visayas and, as with all our projects, we will do all to make this a success and make Iloilo key to improving the country’s supply chain and competitiveness in global trade.”
Drilon, who has been credited for the transformation of Iloilo and its thriving growth, sees immense potential in the project. He believes transforming Iloilo into an international gateway will unlock significant economic opportunities, fostering trade, job creation, business expansion, and regional connectivity. "The VCT is a crucial missing piece for our development," he emphasizes.
He adds that enhancing the infrastructure of VCT will undoubtedly facilitate a surge in international container ship arrivals and streamline the flow of goods in and out of the port: "I am confident that this strategic move by the PPA, in collaboration with ICTSI, will lead to a revitalized and efficient port complex in Iloilo.”