BACOLOD City Councilor Caesar Distrito said the approval of City Development Council on the request of Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) for port zone delineation is not yet final as it still requires the concurrence of the City Council.
Distrito, chairperson of the committee on government assets, said there will be a lot of factors to consider before the port delineation will be approved by the Council.
These include questions on whether the port delineation is necessary before the P420-million port development is implemented; why it consists of 21 hectares and not the finger port alone; what are the boundaries and coverage of the port zone delineation; what will happen to the thousands of residents living along the seashore of Banago; and many other legal issues that will come out in the course of its deliberation.
Distrito said a public hearing will also be called for the Council to listen to the side of the present operator of the city port, Bacolod Real Estate Development Corporation (Bredco). Bredco president Simplicio Palanca sent a letter to the Council questioning the port delineation and the opening of Banago Port.
"We will take into consideration the points raised by Atty. Palanca in his letter to the SP (Council). We will give him that privilege considering his contribution to the development of the city. Although we want to hear from him also that he is willing to increase the rental fees that Bredco is paying to the city," the councilor said.
The Barangay Council of Banago also passed a resolution requesting for a hearing relative to the concerns and fears on the effect of the port zone delineation to the residents of Banago.
Distrito assured the residents that their welfare will be the primary consideration in the development of the area.