BY GLENDA SOLOGASTOA
ILOILO City – The local government unit of Dumangas has not waived its jurisdiction right over the Dumangas Port, clarified former mayor Ronaldo Golez, now the president of the Liga ng mga Barangay in the municipality.
Golez, then the mayor, signed on behalf of the local government a compromise agreement with the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) over the management of the port.
“The issue that the LGU under my leadership yielded the right of the town over the Dumangas Port to PPA is not true,” said Golez.
He presented before the panelists of Panay News’ “Reklamo Publiko” program yesterday the compromise agreement.
Under the agreement:
* PPA shall continue to administer the port of Dumangas under Presidential Decree No. 857 as amended and Executive Order No. 171 Series of 1999.
* The local government shall respect and honor any existing permit or authority issued by the PPA involving the operations and management of any services in the port of Dumangas.
* The local government, under such terms and conditions as may be mutually agreed upon by the parties, may manage and operate the port of Dumangas in accordance with the PPA’s existing and applicable policy, rules and regulations.
* In consideration of the forgoing terms and conditions, acknowledged as the most advantageous to the government, the parties hereby waive their respective claims/counterclaims against each other and shall jointly undertake for the approval of this Agreement; and
* This Agreement is not contrary to law, moral, good custom, public order or public policy.
“This is actually a partnership with PPA. The compromise agreement complements with the declaration of Ilonggo senator Franklin Drilon regarding the development of the port,” said Golez.
He said had the local government decided to manage the port itself, it would have difficulty doing so due to financial constraints.
“But with PPA – which has the expertise – and with funds from the Department of Transportation and Communications, the operation is smooth sailing,” said Golez.
However, Golez said actual sharing was not discussed until now because the compromise agreement as approved by the Court of Appeals was petitioned by a private company, United Dumangas Port Development Corporation (UDPDC), a cargo handling operator. It filed a case against PPA for taking over the port.
The approval of the compromise agreement is now pending at the Supreme Court as the ongoing case has not yet been resolved.
Meanwhile, the Regional Trial Court granted the petition of the local government of Dumangas – claiming ownership of the port of Dumangas and praying for the turnover of its operation and management – but the town could only get it if it pays P111,930,282.28 to UDPDC.
“Nga-a pabayron ang banwa? Wala legal basis nga banwa ang mabayad,” said Golez, adding that the Court of Appeals had ruled that the town should not pay./PN