Court junks shipyard owners TRO vs Consolacion over biz permit issuance
CEBU CITY, Philippines – The local government of Consolacion vowed that their proposed Seafront Reclamation Project in Barangay Tayud would generate thousands of jobs.
This was the promise made by Vice Mayor Teresa ‘Nene’ Alegado during a consultation with residents in the village’s Sitio (sub-village in English) Baha-Baha last November 15, or three days after a trial court dismissed the petition of shipyard owners, requesting the court to compel the municipality to extend their business permits until December 31, 2021.
In an 18-page decision, Branch 83 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Mandaue City ruled that they will not be interfering with the police power of Consolacion’s local chief executive.
As a result, they dismissed the shipyard companies’ petition for the issuance of a temporary-restraining order (TRO) and writ of a preliminary injunction that would have effectively prolong their business permits until year-end.
The decision was penned by Presiding Judge Allan Francisco Garciano and promulgated on November 12, 2021. Copies of the document were also furnished to members of the media.
“This Court is not unmindful of the fact that a mayor’s power to issue a business permit is an exercise of a delegated police power and is discretionary,” portions of the court document read.
It added that they did not find any substantial evidence to indict incumbent Consolacion Mayor Joannes Alegado for grave abuse of discretion over his police power.
“The Court will not interfere with this power save for instances when the respondent mayor, in the exercise of this prerogative, did so in grave abuse of discretion, which is not attendant in this case,” they said.
Seafront Reclamation Project
Shipyard firms namely the Phil. Rigid Construction Corp., Fortune Shipworks Inc., Nagasaka Shipyard Inc., PKS Shipping Co. Inc., and Uni-Orient Pearl Ventures Inc. requested the judiciary to “annul, reverse, and set aside” an order from the municipal Business Permit and Licensing Office (BPLO) that their business permits would be valid for up to six months only.
The BPLO’s move came after the local government announced that they will be pushing with the 235.80-Seafront Reclamation Project, a public-private partnership venture.
The project seeks to reclaim Consolacion’s foreshore areas, particularly in Barangay Tayud where the shipyards are located, and have been doing business for decades.
Shipyard owners, however, objected to the proposal.
On June 29, they filed their application for TRO and writ of preliminary injunction, saying the municipality’s decision to issue business permits that will expire on June 30, 2021 violated the Consolacion Charter and the Municipal Tax Code.
The municipal government of Consolacion, on the other hand, remains undeterred in proceeding with the big-ticket project.
According to a recent statement they published on social media, Vice Mayor Nene, during her visit in Sitio Baha-Baha on November 15, assured residents they will not be displaced should civil works for the project start.
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