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PPA ‘invites’ legal suit if it pushes increase fees
Published: November 26, 2006 by The Bohol Standard

“Tell it to all and sundry that I will file a case against the Philippine Ports Authority Tagbilaran Management Office if they insist on their plan to increase the passenger terminal fee at the city port.”

Former OIC Governor Atty. Victor De la Serna, told the Bohol Standard without batting an eye upon learning of the increase of fee for passengers using the terminal operated by private firm Starlite Maritime Industries, Inc..

In a meeting with the Ports Management Advisory Council (PMAC) held last week, the amount of P22 per passenger was reached as the new terminal fee, instead of the P11.25 imposed by Starlite company.

The amount was 100% higher and is aimed to supposedly recover the cost of the Walk-Through Detector X-Ray that will be installed at the passenger terminal building.

Public reactions flooded radio programs asking why PPA should collect fees when putting security machines for passengers is their mandate as a government agency.

PMO Tagbilaran manager Raul Oblenda corrected the impressions that “everything coming from the government is always free.”

“The PPA does not ask budget from the national government and operates by its own income and not from taxpayers’ money. We only intend to recover the cost. What would happen to this country if our people always expect everything free from the government,” Oblenda said.

Lawyer De La Serna however sees it as something anomalous. It was decided without even consulting the most affected; - the riding public.

Oblenda however said a public consultation was held simultaneous with the PMAC meeting held last Thursday at the Metro Center Hotel this city.

The province was represented by Provincial Administrator Tomas Abapo, Jr. while Vice Mayor Nuevas Tirol-Montes attended for the city.

“Lawyer De la Serna can file a case; it is his right,” Oblenda said.

The port manager also mentioned about consequence of opposing development moves that will consequently affect the public in the end.

Oblenda recalled the alleged opposition of De la Serna on the proposed plan of the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) years back for an increase as the company embarks on expansion of its existing lines.

“We should look at the lessons from the PLDT experience here. There are no more additional company’s lines and these affect business in the city as well,” Oblenda pointed out.

But the proposed hike of the city port passenger terminal fee is seen to experience rough sailing as the Sangguniang Panlalawigan passed Friday a resolution opposing such move.

The city government council will like wise tackle the issue this week.

Romans 10:9-10
"If you declare with your mouth, Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved."

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