Liloan, is gearing up to launch the region’s first smart port later this month. The opening of Pier 88 Port, scheduled for May 27, 2023, promises improved transportation options for commuters in Cebu and other Visayan provinces. Located in Barangay Poblacion, Pier 88 Port will cater to travelers heading to and from various destinations, including Metro Cebu, the Camotes group of islands, and Bohol and Leyte provinces.
One of the key advantages of the approximately three-hectare smart port is its potential to alleviate traffic congestion in Metro Cebu, particularly in Consolacion and Mandaue City. By offering an alternative mode of transport from Liloan to Mactan and Cebu City, the port aims to significantly reduce travel time and provide a smoother commuting experience for the public. This development is particularly beneficial for individuals residing in the northern parts of Metro Cebu, who face daily commutes to Mandaue, Lapu-Lapu, and Cebu.
Pier 88 Port, a collaboration between the Municipality of Liloan and private firms Pier 88 Ventures Inc., Topline Group of Companies, Viking Land, and FL Port Management Corp., will integrate digital technology into its operations. Passengers will enjoy the convenience of QR codes and a radio frequency identification-ready (RFID) system integrated into a mobile application, ensuring seamless and hassle-free travel. The new port has already garnered interest from shipping firms such as OceanJet and Super Shuttle Roro, both eager to operate passenger and cargo vessels at Pier 88. OceanJet is conducting a “sea trial” on May 17, with their 350-passenger ferry traveling between Liloan and Poro Port in Camotes. This trial run will determine travel times and fare structures, with an expected travel time of one hour and 30 minutes at a speed of 22 knots or 40 kilometers per hour.
The Liloan-Camotes route is also attracting attention from Paul Rodriguez of Super Shuttle Roro and Vallacar Transit, operator of Ceres buses. The inclusion of this new route in the Cebu Province’s Local Public Transport Route Plan opens up exciting possibilities for tourism in the Camotes Islands. In addition to providing enhanced transportation options, Pier 88 Port is set to become an economic gateway for Liloan and neighboring areas. The three-phase development project includes plans for a mall, restaurants, and leisure and commercial spaces for lease, which are expected to generate employment opportunities and stimulate economic growth.
The realization of this ambitious project has been a long-time endeavor, with the concept initially proposed in 2015. Construction commenced on October 22, 2019, and the causeway leading to the port was inaugurated on October 24, 2021. Now, as the grand opening of Pier 88 Port draws near, anticipation is building for the positive impact it will have on the region’s transportation landscape, traffic congestion, and economic development.