Upgraded Salomague Port key to Ilocos region's growth—Tugade

The new and improved Port of Salomague in Cabugao town, Ilocos Sur is expected to boost tourism, trade, and economic industries in the province, Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur P. Tugade said.

Salomague Port (Photo from Department of Transportation)

This, as Tugade led on Thursday, July 8 the formal inauguration of the expanded and improved seaport, which he said will benefit the whole Ilocos region.

He said the improvement works on the port's facilities were completed last April by the DOTr and Philippine Ports Authority (PPA). Now, the port can commodate cruise ships and more fishing vessels.

The improvements include the construction of the reinforced concrete (RC) platform back-up area as well as the RC pier extension from 120 meters to 543 meters.

The DOTr chief added that the port will help the entire region reap employment and other economic benefits from tourism once the country eases into the new normal and travel restrictions are relaxed.

"Promise po, pagtapos ng pandemya at dumating yung mga turista, dapat handa po tayo. Sapagkat yung pagdating ng benepisyo sa turismo ay nandiyan din kaya dapat handang-handa na tayo (We should be ready when tourists arrive after the pandemic. The benefits in the tourism industry are now here so we must be ready)," Tugade said.

Strategically located near the historical sites and beaches of Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur, the Salomague Port is eyed to be one of the country’s ports of call for cruise ships. It is expected to increase cruise calls to the country with its proximity to the ports of Hong Kong and South China.