Guimaras-Iloilo Ferry Terminal (GIFT) Construction
To better serve the transportation of goods and passengers between the island of Guimaras and Iloilo City, the city government proposed the construction of a modern transit hub, dubbed as Guimaras-Iloilo Ferry Terminal (GIFT), at the site of the old Rotary Park located at Fort San Pedro. Alongside this project is the upgrading of the ferry ports at Buenavista and Jordan in Guimaras. Pictures below are taken two months after the demolition of the old Rotary Park.
Iloilo I LOVE! will cover this exciting development and shall provide updates on its progress. For now, here’s the summary or timeline of events that lead to the present state of the project:
October 2011 – Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog is finalizing the list of the members of the special Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) that will oversee and evaluate the application of contractors under the proposed Public-Private Partnership (PPP) for the Guimaras-Iloilo Ferry Terminal (GIFT). Mayor Mabilog expressed hope that the project will begin construction before the year ends.
August 2011 – Squatters and illegal settlers at the old Rotary Park were evicted by Iloilo City’s Task Force on Anti-Squatting and Illegal Structures. The demolition of the structures at the park was peaceful as the city government gave several deadlines and assistance to meet the needs of the settlers. Some of the squatters even voluntarily dismantled their homes before the deadline set by the city government.
July 2011 – President Benigno Aquino III signed Presidential Proclamation No. 207 revoking Executive Order No. 88 Series of 1913, thus effectively handing down the Rotary Park property to three government entities. The order specified the area to be distributed as 2,048 sq m to Philippine Coast Guard, 1,000 sq m to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), and 10,687 sq m to the Iloilo City Government. The said property is estimated to be worth Php 300 million.
April 2011 – Mayor Mabilog sent a letter to President Aquino in connection with the GIFT Project. President Aquino promptly replied and asked for the necessary documents to support the Mayor’s request. The area, almost a hectare in size, is currently occupied by the Philippine Coast Guard, the abandoned Rotary Park, and a small terminal for Buenavista pump boats.
2008 – A study completed by Consultants for Comprehensive Environmental Planning, Inc (CONCEP) calls for a modern and effective Guimaras-Iloilo Terminal. It was also suggested that the project be funded by the Asian Development Bank.
Based on the proposed project, the ferry terminal near the old Rotary Park will be improved by constructing a modern passenger lounge and terminal, a hotel, restaurants, and an eco-park or a sports venue. The headquarters of the Philippine Coast Guard and the DENR offices will be transferred near the perimeter fence of the Philippine Ports Authority. The pre-feasibility study was possible as the city government availed a P4.7 million grant from the Cities Development Initiative for Asia (CDIA). Other proposals made from the study were emphasis on conservation of Iloilo City’s heritage and the revitalization of the old business district along JM Basa and Iznart Streets. Concep Team Leader Dr. Nathaniel Von Eisiendel headed the above study.
Graphics are taken from CONCEP, Inc website (http://concepinc.com/)development updates, Guimaras, Iloilo City, Iloilo Port, Metro Iloilo - Guimaras