DAVAO CITY – His Excellency Prasas Prasasvinitchai, Ambassador of Thailand to the Philippines personally attended briefing at the Davao Baseport (also known to locals as Sasa Wharf) here as part of a three-day business mission on February 4, 2013 to explore trade potentials.
Accompanied by Minister Counsellor of the Thai Trade Center Ms. Rachakorn Saksri and First Secretary on Economics and Protocol Ms. Orawee Supawatin, said trip underscores Thailand’s interest on the export and import trade links with the southern regions of the country.
“This is a very timely meeting since Davao Port is at the peak as a container hub in the Southern Mindanao District,” Port Management Office (PMO) – Davao Port Manager Leonilo Miole reveals.
Davao Region is best known for the massive banana plantations which are the major source of the leading fresh banana fruit export of the Philippines.
Based on the 2012 operational statistics, PMO-Davao recorded 634,190 Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) for its container traffic, down by 5.57 percent from 671,643 TEUs in 2011.
Between 2008 and 2011, however, Davao Region exhibited highly positive container traffic performance which ranged between 415,113 TEUS and 671,643 TEUS, reaching 28.97 percent growth in 2010.
Correspondingly, containerized cargo volume in 2012 slightly declined by 2.79 percent at 6,194,382 Metric Tons (MTs) from 6,372,632 MTs in 2011.
For the past four years, nonetheless, PMO-wide container cargo volume growth was upswing which ranged between 6.28 and 25.83 percent, the latter being the highest recorded in 2010.
Above stated figures reflect the picture of all ports in the Davao Region – XI as a whole which includes the baseport in Davao City and the municipal and private ports in the area.
Fruits and vegetable products, for the past two decades, continue to be the top cargoes in the PMO’s overall turnout where majority are being handled at the Sasa Wharf.
Of the total PMO-wide statistics, the Davao Baseport eats up most of the pie in container traffic, both import and export. From years 2008 to 2012, Sasa Wharf accounts for 65 to 72 percent of the total foreign container volume in Region – XI.
“Davao Port is mainly an international gateway going full-swing with containerization which is the trend globally,” PM Miole furthered.
PM Miole briefed the Ambassador on the various port services, facilities and other vital data on the Sasa Wharf focusing on trade performance – cargo volume, container traffic and shipcalls and operations.
PMO-Davao technical staff headed by Acting Port Services Division Manager Engr. Fructuoso Capirig also gave an orientation on the 18 private ports that complement the Davao Port operations and are regulated by the PMO.
Most of these private ports are within two (2) to 35 kilometer radius from Sasa Wharf – a feature which is one of the vital factors noted by the Ambassador in brokering trade relations. They are a testament to liberalized public policy on maritime – related deals and provide for alternative routes for investors.
In its official statement, the Thai Embassy particularly cited that the Ambassador is interested to know if there would be ports available to accommodate Thailand export and import products in case they will be doing business in the Davao Region.