Frasco questions lounge fee for passengers at Danao City port
CEBU CITY, Philippines— A Cebuano lawmaker has requested the Congress’ Committee on Transportation to investigate the alleged collection of P20 lounge fee from passengers of the port in Danao City, northern Cebu.
In a resolution filed before the Committee on Wednesday, September 4, 2019, Representative Vincent Franco “Duke” Frasco of Cebu’s Fifth District, said he received complaints from passengers bound for Camotes Island that they are made to pay P20 as lounge fee to a mall that operates beside the port.
Frasco said passengers are made to wait for their trips in a lounge inside the mall and are being asked to pay for the lounge fee on top of the P5 terminal fee.
The port of the Danao City serves as the main gateway of Camotes Island residents who come to mainland Cebu for work or studies.
Danao City and the towns of Pilar, Poro, San Francisco and Tudela, which make up the Camotes Islands, are part of the fifth legislative district of Cebu Province.
Frasco questioned the legality of the collection of the lounge as he said that this additional payment is “unjustly adding financial burden and unduly hampering passengers’ constitutional right to travel.”
“Camotes island residents work hard to provide for their families, but part of their earnings are taken by Sands. Before the operation of the private mall, they did not have to pay the P20-fee,” Frasco said in a statement on Thursday, September 4, 2019.
Frasco, who was a former commissioner at the Cebu Port Authority (CPA), said it is not necessary for passengers to be ushered to wait at the mall’s private lounge since there is a 150-seater terminal in the port.
Frasco claimed that the passengers are forced to use the mall lounge since the passenger terminal was closed by the port administration.
“There is no basis under law to mandate the passengers to pay Lounge Fees to Sands Gateway, a private corporation, to gain access to the Port of Danao City, a public port… (This) is illegal,” added Frasco.
The port of Danao City is a public port operated by the CPA. /bmjo
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