CPA questions Talisay city ro-ro port agreement
by Michelle Joy L. Padayhag
The Cebu Ports Authority (CPA) yesterday questioned the 25-year agreement signed between the Talisay City government and the Asian Marine Transport Corp. to develop and operate the idle Talisay fish port.
Lawyer Yusop Uckung, CPA deputy manager, told Cebu Daily News the port was under the national government’s jurisdiction.
“Ownership and jurisdiction falls (under our office),” he said.
The CPA received the Talisay City Council’s resolution and the company’s letter, but Uckung said the CPA didn’t sanction the agreement.
Talisay city officials said there was no actual conflict.
City Legal Officer Alfredo Sipalay said the local government will to enter into another agreement with the CPA to secure the roll-on-roll-off port.
“We are now working on this because Asian Marine Transport Corp. (AMTC) really needs a port where its ships can dock,¨ Sipalay said in yesterday’s press conference.
Sipalay said he was confident the CPA will authorize Talisay City to take over the port because the local goverernment would be able to earn monthly rental from it.
“Otherwise, it will be as is — a white elephant. All the money used by CPA to develop it in the past would go down the drain,” he said.
Part of the lease contract with Talisay stipulates that after the the venture, another agreement will be crafted between the city government and CPA.
In the new MOA, the sharing scheme for revenue will be included.
Sipalay said the CPA would earn through “berthing fees” or fees paid by operators of the vessels.
AMTC president and CEO Paul Rodriguez said the development of the ro-ro port will depend on how fast the city government and CPA reach an agreement.
Acting Talisay City Information Officer Cynthia Barrit said the ro-ro port was mentioned in the contract but the facilities still have to be developed.
Meanwhile Uckung said CPA board still has to meet and decide on the matter.
Uckung said the CPA board will meet within the week and call officials of the Talisay City government and AMTC about the project.
Talisay City Mayor Johnny V. Delos Reyes and AMTC signed a lease contract in which the company will pay the city P800,000 a month for the use of the 2.4-hectare lot where the fish port and roll-on-roll-off port are located.
The company will invest P560 million for the development and extension of the ro-ro port as a major gateway to Cebu.
The Talisay port is envisioned as a major logistics hub for activities from Manila and Batangas to the Visayas and Mindanao.
The Talisay fish port was built during the term of former congressman Eduardo Gullas at a cost of P716 million.
Uckung clarified that the ro-ro port is not yet completed because vessels can’t dock at the area. /With Correspondent Victor Anthony V. Silva
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