Firm opposes another public port-A A +A
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
BACOLOD Real Estate Development Corporation (Bredco) legal counsel former vice mayor Renecito Novero said Tuesday that the company opposes the establishment of another public port aside from Bredco port, which is considered as the existing public port.
Novero said that such opposition has practical, legal and economic reasons, as there is already an existing public seaport built and operated by Bredco under the name of the City of Bacolod.
He pointed out that it is incorrect to say that whatever it is to be constructed at the Banago Port would be the first public port in Bacolod because there is already an existing public port in the city.
“That is definitely a wrong announcement. But maybe for lack of knowledge about the historical antecedence, we can forgive that inaccurate announcement about the matter,” he said.
Novero said the Bredco port belongs to the City of Bacolod, although the City or National Government did not spend a single centavo for its construction. It is Bredco, headed by its president Simplicio Palanca, that spent almost P2 billion for the construction of the port since 1995, excluding the reclamation area, he said.
As the developer, Bredco was granted by the city 25 years to operate and recoup its investments with an option for another 25 years, Novero said.
Under the contract, the port will have to be ceded and given to the city, he said.
Novero said the Bredco port is called a commercial port since it is operated by a private entity by reason of a contract between the city and a private investor. But since it is owned by the government, it is a public port, he said.
The Philippine Ports Authority is aware that they should not put up another port with the proximity of about one or half kilometer distance from another existing port, Novero said. It is not in accordance with the policy of the government, he added.
“If you put up another port maintained by the government, you will be constructing a port that will provide an unhealthy competition between two government ports. You will also be providing an unfair competition between the government and the private investor,” Novero said.
“We will not take this with hands down. Definitely, we will raise all legal issues that are valid and that are practical at the same time,” he said.
Novero said they will not bar further developments in Banago but they will only oppose attempts to ruin the prospects of the existing port owned by the City of Bacolod.
Government should be supportive of private investment and not be a competitor, Novero said.
The Philippine Ports Authority appropriated P18 million for the repair of the Banago passenger terminal and P35 million for the repair of the causeway, or a total of P53 million.
Bacolod Representative Anthony Golez Jr., in a press statement, earlier said he intends to develop Banago into the city’s first public port but he cannot go full swing because the mayor has not yet issued the port zone delineation.
Novero said if Golez wants a resolution for a port zone delineation, he should go to the City Council.
No such request was made, according to Councilor Caesar Distrito in an earlier interview.
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on July 11, 2012.