Northern Samar Governor Edwin Ongchuan (right) and Usec.Elmer Sarmiento of the Department of Transportations signs an agreement for the construction of several ports in the province with a total budget of P75 million.

TACLOBAN CITY– The provincial government of Northern Samar and the Department of Transportation (DOTr) signed a memorandum of agreement on Thursday (Jan.4) that aims to expand port projects in the province.

The agreement was signed by Governor Edwin Ongchuan and DOTr Undersecretary for Maritime Elmer Francisco Sarmiento solidifying the partnership to boost employment opportunities and streamline transportation in the province, particularly, expanding the ports in the municipalities of Allen, Mapanas, and San Jose.

The projects are funded under the General Appropriations Act (GAA) of 2022 by the DOTr amounting to P75 million.

“Malaking bagay po ito for our economic upliftment dahil dito po dadaan sa amin ang mga barges, commercial vessels para po sa mga infrastructure projects na aming tinatayo. Dito po kami nagko-concentrate sa copra buying and copra supplying papunta pong Lucena, papunta po sa ibang probinsya gaya sa Quezon,” said Gov. Ongchuan.

“We are connecting communities such as Mapanas and other municipalities in Northern Samar to the bigger island economies for their economic growth. We are happy to work with the governor and mayors in Northern Samar so that the benefits will be given to the province and respective LGUs,” Usec. Sarmiento said during the signing of the MOA.
Mapanas Mayor Ronn Michael Tejano joined Gov. Ongchuan in visiting the DOTr Central Office and witnessed the MOA signing.

Tejano expressed his gladness over the project which he said would bring more development not only in his municipality but also to neighboring towns in the Pacific Coast of the province.

The governor also reiterates his appeal to the DOTr for the funding for the construction of a domestic airport in Pambujan and the rehabilitation and improvement of the Batag Lighthouse on Batag Island, Laoang town.

The construction of the Pambujan Domestic Airport which will also be called Northern Samar Airport is proposed by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines as a relocation site for the Catarman Airport to pave way for its expansion.

In February of 2023, CAAP-8 manager Danilo Ab said that they are looking for a relocation site for the Catarman Airport because the expansion is not feasible in its present location big portion of the facility is located within a military reservation, and both ends of the airport runway are classified as main roads. (ROEL T. AMAZONA)