Meet the New Deputy Director of Harbors

by Renelaine Bontol Pfister

Last month, Eduardo Manglallan was appointed by Gov. Ige as the new Deputy Director of Harbors, a division of Hawaii Department of Transportation.

He has held other positions with the City and County of Honolulu, including a Legislative Aide and Special Projects Coordinator and Deputy Director of the Department of Facility Maintenance. Prior to this, he was a Construction Manager for Lend Lease (US) Public Partnership, LLC, and one of their projects was building 10,000 military housing units for the Army, Air Force and Coast Guard on Oahu.

Manglallan’s loyalty to the military stems from his 28 years of service in the U.S. Navy. He is a retired Lieutenant Commander.

He was born in Batac City, Ilocos Norte, and graduated as Salutatorian from his high school, Mariano State University. He studied Mechanical Engineering for four years at Northwestern University and took four years of Advanced Army ROTC training before migrating to the U.S. in 1972 and enlisting in the U.S. Navy.

He circumnavigated the globe twice while serving in various naval vessels including aircraft carriers, ammunition ships and guided-missile destroyers as a Machinist Mate. One of his most memorable experiences is being lowered and raised via “horse collar” on a CH43 helicopter, delivering classified material while he was deployed with a battle group.

Ed was selected in the Navy’s Enlisted Commissioning Program with a full grant Navy Scholarship, and received his Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering from Florida State University in 1985, where he graduated Magna cum laude.

He then attended Navy’s Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island, was commissioned as an Ensign – Unrestricted Line Naval Officer and served in various roles onboard two ammunition ships and a destroyer.

After earning his Naval Surface Warfare Officer designation, Ed transferred to the Navy Civil Engineer Officer Corps and served as Resident Officer in Charge of Construction. His next role was Staff Civil Engineer at Naval Magazine Lualualei. Meanwhile, he was selected to attend postgraduate studies at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where he earned his Master’s Degree in Civil/Environmental Engineering in 1994.

For five years, Ed served as Public Works Officer at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard with a follow-on tour as Public Works Officer at Marine Corps Base Hawaii. His last assignment was at Corpus Christi, Texas as a Contracting Officer and Resident Officer in Charge of Construction, covering three non-contiguous military bases.

Ed is married to Merlyn de la Cruz from Laoag City, who was his cadet officer sponsor during his advanced Army Reserved Officer Training Corps. They have three children: Eddielyn, Katherine and Kristofferson.

Ed and Merlyn happily spend time babysitting their six grandchildren. On a personal level, Ed’s goal is to ensure his children and grandchildren achieve their highest potential.

When asked what his new position at the Harbors Division entails, he said that his office is “responsible for the statewide harbors administration and management, planning, maintenance, security and rehabilitation of ports/terminals.”

He aims to have an inter-modal transportation system that is safe, efficient, accessible, and sustainable. He wants to ensure the mobility of people and goods that will help our economy and quality of life.

“Given the current uncertainties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, we are cautiously moving forward as we relax some restrictions. Cruise ships are scheduled to return statewide in January 2022 with foreseeable added revenues,” Manglallan said.

There is also the Harbors Modernization Plan, the largest capital improvement project in Hawaii Harbors history. Phase 1 of the new Kapalama Container Terminal has already been completed, and Phase 2 is underway.

“These positive improvements at our commercial harbors will help increase capacity and meet growing economic demands for overseas transfers of containers to the interisland carrier,” Manglallan adds.

Harbors’ 2040 concept master plan is waterfront improvements at all state-owned piers including Kalaeloa and the Aloha Tower Development Corporation projects.

As the new Deputy Director, Ed’s goals and priorities include being proactive, treating everyone fairly and delivering projects timely, with good quality, and within the approved budget. They work with the government as well as the private sector, and maintain open communications with the general public.


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