GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/10 Aug) – The city government is pushing for the establishment of a multimillion-peso integrated terminal complex that would serve as the area’s main transport and food trading hub.
Meriam Buguis, City Economic Management and Cooperative Development Office (CEMCDO) chief, said they are currently drawing out plans for the development of a 20-hectare food and transport terminal complex through a public-private partnership or PPP scheme.
She said the proposed facility, which is estimated to cost around P700 million, will eventually replace the Bulaong transport terminal complex, which has so far failed to cope with the city’s growing passenger traffic.
The existing terminal facility, which is located near the city’s downtown area, has also been congesting the city’s central business district, she said.
“It (Bulaong terminal) lacks appropriate facilities and technologies for product handling. Its overall features are way below international standards,” Buguis noted in a report posted at the city government’s website.
Buguis said the new terminal complex will comprise a food terminal, transport terminal and an AAA abattoir or slaughterhouse.
She said it will also feature complete and modern solid and liquid waste management facilities.
The official said they are currently seeking out viable PPP arrangements for the project, which is one of the major investment areas that the city government has been promoting through such scheme.
She said the other priority investment areas are the upgrading of the city’s central public market as well as the development of the Klaja Karsts Ecotourism Park and Queen Tuna Park as top tourism destinations.
For the public market project, Buguis said the local government wants to redevelop the 20,450-square meter facility into a modern commercial complex.
The project, which is pegged at around P200 million, will feature a mall-type structure that will replace the existing public market.
The proposed facility will include wet and dry market sections as well as shopping center with commercial spaces.
“It will have crowd-drawing add-ons such as recreational, amusement and entertainment facilities and a carpark building,” Buguis said.
For the Klaja Karsts Ecotourism Park, she said the project will cover the development of several land sections covering portions of barangays Upper Labay, Olympog, Conel and Mabuhay.
The proposed developments include road rehabilitation; installation of hanging bridges, ladders, safety cables, solar power and water systems; building of campsites, eco-lodges and cottages; establishment of a tourist information center and ranger station; and development of mountain trails, rock climbing and zipline stations.
Buguis said they are planning to also develop the 31,715-square meter beach front of the Queen Tuna Park into a prime tourist attraction with the construction of an amphitheater, children’s playground, sea museum, exhibit area, baywalk, cafés, among others. (Allen V. Estabillo / MindaNews)