Contractor eyes backup plan to resume work on ro-ro port

WTG Construction and Development Corp. will propose an alternative solution to speed up the construction of Phase 1 of the P336 million port project in Barangay Poblacion, San Fernando, Cebu that has been held up for five months.

The project involves demolishing the current dilapidated port and building a new roll-on, roll-off (ro-ro) facility.

WTG Construction project engineer Francisco Perez Ynot said Friday, Nov. 18, 2022 they will write to the Cebu Port Authority (CPA) to make a variation or another design so they can use concrete piles since 888 steel sheet piles that are in the custody of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority in Zambales have not yet been pulled out for delivery to Cebu due to the unpaid storage fee.

On Thursday, CPA information officer Maryknoll Bolas told SunStar that WTG Construction stopped work on the construction in June as the steel sheet piles have not yet arrived from Subic. The steel sheet piles were donated by the Bureau of Customs.

Ynot said through the new design, the completion of the port with a ramp width of 100 meters will be hastened and four to five large ships will be able to dock at the port with a depth of 11 meters.

The engineer said if there is a variation, they can work on at least 10 percent or P33.6 million of the P336 million total contract price for Phase 1 of the project once the CPA agrees.

Ynot said the CPA had already sent a letter to Elmer Sarmiento, undersecretary for maritime law of the Department of Transportation (DOTr), which is funding the project, to settle the storage fee in Subic so they can bring the steel sheet piles to San Fernando.

The project engineer said WTG had already spent P6 million after its barge went to Subic to pick up the 888 steel sheet piles that are 12 meters in length and 80 centimeters in width, after receiving the go signal from the CPA to do so.

Each steel sheet weighs around seven to eight tons.

But Ynot said they were told by the management of Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority that they could not yet release the construction materials because the DOTr has yet to pay the storage fee.

WTG Construction hopes they will be able to return to work because if their construction is delayed for a few more months, their heavy equipment such as the crane would also be idle at the pier.

WTG has requested a stoppage order from the CPA so that the months that it did not work due to the lack of materials would not be deducted from the number of calendar days that was stipulated in the contract.

The company hopes to meet its target completion date of Nov. 23, 2023 once the materials in Subic can already be shipped to San Fernando.

WTG began work on the San Fernando port project located in Barangay Poblacion on Dec. 30, 2021 with the view to completing it in May 2023.

The project, which is now expected to be finished in November next year, is now 25 percent complete.

The port is designed to accommodate domestic and international vessels. (PAC / TPT)