Court denies TRO vs Iloilo-Guimaras terminal fee

JORDAN, Guimaras -- The Regional Trial Court Branch 65 denied the petition for a 72-hour temporary restraining order against the increase of the Iloilo-Guimaras Ferry Terminal fee from P8 to P11.

The Provincial Government of Guimaras filed a petition against the City Government of Iloilo and its council, private developer Double Dragon Properties Corporation and the Iloilo-Guimaras Ferry Terminal Corporation on alleged overcharging by the operator on the new terminal.

Read: Guimaras government to file raps vs Iloilo City

Vice Governor-elect lawyer Edward Gando earlier said they are contesting the projected P11 terminal fee of every passengers going to Guimaras as "excessive", which he said, did not pass through consultation with them.

They also protested the P30 berthing fee of passenger ferry boats and P50 of every cargo ferry boat, claiming the berthing area is not owned by Double Dragon but was constructed a long time ago by the Philippine Ports Authority and the Department of Transportation and Communication.  

The court's denial dated June 17, 2016 was signed by presiding judge Rosario Abigail Dris-Villanueva stating that it does not find "urgency" to issue a 72-hour TRO and set another hearing on the propriety of the issuance on June 20.

City Legal Officer Daniel Dinopol hailed the court's decision saying it showed "wisdom in its decision" citing their manifestation in court that City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog assured that Ortiz wharf users and about 50 vendors can continue operation until every concern at the new ferry terminal is settled.

Mabilog had assured he will talk with developer Double Dragon officials to allow the continued operation of the Ortiz wharf and to give to wharf users and passengers the option on where to pass through in going to Guimaras Island.

Read: Iloilo mayor to meet with Ortiz wharf’s developer

Dinopol said a joint venture agreement between Double Dragon and the city was inked in 2014 and approved by the City Council.

The court also took into cognizance the withdrawal of the special civil action of the Provincial Government of Guimaras pending the result of consultative talks between Mabilog and Double Dragon slated on July 7, 2016. (LCP)
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