Cebu has a rich, colorful history, and was an important strategic center for both traders from Southern China and later Spaniards who colonized the country. In the pre-Spanish era, Zubu, as Cebu was then called, was already an important trading center serving merchants from as far away as Arabia, China, Siam, Borneo and the Molucca Islands.
The Portuguese explorer, Ferdinand Magellan, reached Cebu in 1521 and was killed on nearby Island during a battle. The surviving crew members returned to Spain and became the first sailors to circumnavigate the globe. Spanish explorer, Legaspi, returned to Cebu some 30 years later and made the city his capital for the new Spanish colony.
On July 30, 1886 under Spanish colonial rule, the Port of Cebu was declared open to world trade with such significant exports as spices, abaca, sugar, corn, copra, tobacco, lumber, pearls, and native textiles, passing through its port.
The succeeding American colonial era saw Cebu continuing its significance as a major Philippine seaport with chief exports of hemp, coconut oil, copra, sugar, maguey, lumber and tobacco handled through the port.
Formerly a component of the Philippine Ports Authority since 1975, Cebu and all ports within the Cebu City and province were turned over to the Cebu Port Authority from 1992 to 1995. By 1996, Cebu Port Authority was then fully operationalized until today.
Purposes and Objectives
- To integrate and coordinate the planning development, construction and operations of ports and port facilities within its territorial jurisdiction, consistent with the needs and requirements of the region;
- To enhance the flow of international and domestic commerce passing through or utilizing the regional ports; and
- To promote regional development by providing support services to sustain the growth of export and other priority industries in the region.
The territorial jurisdiction of the Authority shall include all ports, seas, lakes, rivers and all other navigable inland waterways within the province of Cebu, the City of Cebu, and all other highly urbanized cities which may be created after the enactment of R.A. 7621.
The Cebu Port Commission
- Chairman – DOTC Secretary
- 6 Commissioners – shall represent the following:
- Shipowners and Shipping Operators
- Cargo Handling Labor Sector
- Business Sector
- Vice – Chairman – shall be elected from among the six commissioners and shall be designated concurrently as the CPA General Manager.