City Council has no power to open, close wharves

THE Iloilo City Council has no power to authorize the opening or closing of any wharves or ports within the city jurisdiction since this power is solely vested on the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina), majority floorleader Eduardo Peñaredondo said.

The City Councilor said it is stressed in the Constitution that the power of local government units (LGUs) is separate and delineated from the powers of the National Government and it is considered unconstitutional for an LGU to step down on the powers of the National Government.  

Reacting to the letter dated June 20, from the Provincial Board (PB) of Guimaras to the Iloilo City Council, Peñaredondo said Resolution 90 of the Guimaras PB states “A resolution manifesting strong opposition to certain provisions of the Joint Venture Agreement concluded between the city government of Iloilo and Double Dragon Corp relative to the proposed Guimaras-Iloilo Ferry Terminal (Gift), more particularly on the terminal fee of P11 and other fees, and the closure of Ortiz and Parola wharves/ports.”      
Penaredondo said a case was already filed in court challenging certain provisions of the joint venture agreement.

City Councilor Armand Parcon bared that even the Philippine Coast Guard is wary of the safety of commuters going to Guimaras Island and back, calling it a high risk navigation at the Gift wharf.

Parcon said that maritime safety is of primordial concern for daily commuters using the new ferry terminal river wharf as more than 100 ferryboats will be overcrowded. The ferryboats carrying passengers for Jordan and the ferryboats for Buenavista will vie for docking space at the new wharf.

The Ortiz wharf is primarily for passengers going to Jordan while the old Parola wharf is for passengers going to Buenavista and the ferryboats are not competing with each other for spaces at the docking area.

Parcon said the 20,000 daily commuters in both wharves will have to concentrate and use the new Gift wharf as provided for in the joint venture agreement.

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