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P48-M Codon RORO Port Project Begins Next Month

The Department of Transportation and Communication is set to award the contract for the Codon Port Development Project costing some P48-million to an Albay-based contractor in preparation for the projected start date of January 2010.

DOTC Assistant Secretary Cesar V. Sarmiento, who has been keeping a close eye on the vital project, informed the Tribune that the DOTC Bids and Awards Committee was supposed to approve the resolution of award to Hi-Tone Construction and Development Corporation last Dec. 4, 2009.

Hi-Tone won the Nov. 6 bidding with a bid of P48,022,427.76 for the project, which would consist of the widening of the existing 80-meter rock causeway and its extension by 180 meters. The construction firm is a subsidiary of the Sunwest Group of Companies controlled by Elizalde Co, whose Sunwest Water & Electricity Co. is building three mini-hydroelectric power plants in San Miguel and Caramoran towns.

The same company also won the bidding for the Caramoan Port Development Project funded by DOTC in Camarines Sur. The Caramoan project involves the construction of a 70-meter rock causeway that once completed would become San Vicente Port, which will be linked by roll-on-roll-off ships to Codon on the other side of the Lagonoy Gulf. The same project costing P47,997,624.98 was won by Hi-Tone during the bidding held on the same day as the Codon project.

Still awaiting the release of funds is the construction of the RORO facility itself at Codon, which an official of the Department of Public Works and Highways will cost no less than P50 million.

The San Vicente-Codon RORO link has been one of the priority projects pushed by Caramoan-born Bishop Manolo delos Santos of the Diocese of Virac, aside from the upgrading of the existing Lagonoy-Presentacion-Garchitorena-Caramoan-Guijalo national road and the completion of the opening and construction of Presentacion-Caramoan coastal road.

Once the RORO link is completed and the coastal road link to the national highway in Camarines Sur, ferry service between San Vicente and Codon will reduce travel time to Manila by at least two hours and open a potentially lucrative route to Catanduanes for tourists who will flock to the Caramoan isles.

Source: Catanduanes Tribune - 19 December 2009

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