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CPA: No war with Cebu City

By: Michelle Joy L. Padayhag July 12,2015 - 11:11 PM

The area covering the Senior Citizens park and the Compania Maritima lot which used to be fenced by the CPA.  (CDN Photo/JUNJIE MENDOZA)

The area covering the Senior Citizens park and the Compania Maritima lot which used to be fenced by the CPA.

The Cebu Port Authority (CPA) reiterated that it doesn’t want “war” with Cebu City Hall over control of the property occupied by the old Compania Maritima building.

Like City Hall, the port body said it wants to convert the old building into a maritime museum “We don’t want war.

We just want to settle the issue in the appropriate venue,” CPA deputy manager Yusop Uckung said in relation to the legal dispute between them and the Cebu City government over the Compania Maritima building.

“(Converting the Compania Maritima building is) our initial plan. But in terms of other details, we still have to discuss it yet. Cebu  doesn’t have its own maritime museum,” Uckung said.

Uckung said the budget for converting the building into a maritime museum can come from either the CPA or the national government.

The project can also be undertaken through Public-Private Partnership (PPP).

But before realizing their plans, the port body wants to settle the court dispute between them and the Cebu City government for control of the lot and the building that occupies less than one hectare at the Cebu harbor.

The area is located near the 300-hectare South Road Properties (SRP). Its commercial value has increased following recent developments in the SRP, where mixed-use developments are ongoing.

Last week, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama voiced surprise over the filing of the civil case against the city government over ownership of the area and the building by the national government through the CPA.

Three years ago, Rama ordered the demolition of the CPA fence to widen the area behind City Hall as part of the beautification project of the Senior Citizens Park and the Compania Maritima.

The appropriated area is now a parking lot.

The CPA asked the court to nullify a tax declaration used by the Cebu City government to claim ownership over the disputed piece of land.

Like the CPA, Rama wants to develop the three-story Compania Maritima building into a maritime museum.

Built on reclaimed land at the port area in 1910, the building was occupied by the Shamrock Hotel during pre-war years before it was eventually leased to house the corporate offices of the shipping company,  Compania Maritima.

Uckung cited Republic Act No. 7621, otherwise known as the “Charter of the Cebu Port Authority” as basis for their claim on the building and the property.

RA No. 7621 outlines the CPA’s jurisdiction as covering “all seas, lakes, rivers and all other navigable inland waterways within the province of Cebu” including Cebu City and all other highly urbanized cities.

On September 11, 1996, an agreement was signed between the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) and CPA to facilitate the turnover of the administration and operation of the ports in Cebu province.

Uckung said CPA was entrusted with the management, administration, operation, maintenance, improvement and development of the Cebu ports that include Berth 28 to Berth 33, covering Pier 1 and the Compania Maritima premises.

The Compania Maritima premises cover Berth 31 to Berth 33, bounded on the east by the perimeter fence of the Malacañang sa Sugbu and MJ Cuenco Avenue, and on the south by the harbor of Cebu.

It also extends to the west from F. Gonzales St. near Carbon Public Market and on the north by the walls of La Nueva Supermarket on Berth 31 and the Senior Citizens’ Park on Berth 32.

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TAGS: Cebu, Cebu City, Cebu Port Authority, Compania Maritima, CPA, PPP, Public-Private Partnership, South Road Properties, SRP

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