THE Presidential Security Group (PSG) has refused to turn over to the Cebu Port Authority (CPA) the operation of the berthing area at the back of Malacañang sa Sugbo, a move that could ease the congestion at the port and the roads around it.
CPA General Manager Angelo Verdan said they elevated their request to get back that area of the port to the Office of the President through Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Lloyd Dino. The request is still pending.
Even when the building is not being used, the PSG continues to secure and occupy it.
Verdan said the berthing area behind Malacañang sa Sugbo is important considering that Cebu City’s base ports are now so congested that they refuse to let some incoming vessels dock.
The berthing area, he said, can decongest the base ports because it can accommodate at least four vessels at a time.
It can also decongest the roads around the port since all vehicles transporting passengers and cargoes to vessels docked from Pier 1 to Malacañang sa Sugbo will no longer have to turn back since there is an exit that leads to M.J. Cuenco Ave. and the South Road Properties.
The Bureau of Customs (BOC) building, which was constructed by the Americans in 1910, was converted into Malacañang sa Sugbo in 2005 during the presidency of now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
Since then, the building and the berthing area at the back have not been used.
Verdan said they are only interested in the port and not the building, which belongs to the BOC.
The Malacañang sa Sugbo was one of the public buildings that were damaged when a 7.2 magnitude quake hit parts of the Visayas on Oct. 15, 2013. (EOB)