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Aksyon Radyo picks up issue on Uygongco private port


I am flattered to know that Aksyon Radyo station manager and anchorman John Paul Tia has picked up the issue on the construction of a private port by La Filipina Uygongco Corp. in Barangay Ingore, Lapaz, Iloilo City.
This is a matter of supreme importance, because as discussed last night by urban development and planner Francis Gentoral, good port facilities are a must for Iloilo City to be competitive.
Uygongco private port

This is the private port built and operated by the La Filipina Uygongco Corp. offshore in Barangay Ingore, Lapaz, Iloilo City.

As it is, the existing Iloilo Commercial Port Complex is congested. On any given day, three or four foreign vessels lay at anchor in the Guimaras Strait to wait for their turn to dock and unload their cargo. Every day of delay is costly; shippers have to pay demurrage (penalty charged by ship owners) an estimated $2,500-3,000 per day of delay.
The reputation of the Iloilo Port is now close to being ruined in the shipping industry. According to my sources, owners of foreign vessels are starting to impose higher than usual demurrage. That means only one thing: Iloilo Port could be treated like a leper by international shipping companies.
This is the core of my expose on the Uygongco Port.
By building a private port near the existing ICPC, it has effectively blocked the room for expansion. This is detrimental to Iloilo’s economy. Also, it gave Uygongco unfair advantage over other companies who depend on the ICPC for their shipping requirements.
Right now, what is highlighted is the complaint of residents of Barangay Ingore about the noise and disturbance of the heavy equipment hauling soya, sorghum and wheat that are unloaded at the private port.
These are the raw materials for the manufacture of flour.
I am waiting for the Philippine Ports Authority to furnish me with all the records and documents relative to the grant of the permit to construct and operate to Uygongco.
There have been short-cuts made, and violations of the law may have been committed.
I think the business community should be interested in this issue.
Again, just for the record, I have nothing against Uygongco building its private port. It can build one twice or thrice the size of this one. My point is that such private port must be situated outside of the port development area for the ICPC.
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About Manuel "Boy" Mejorada
Manuel "Boy" Mejorada is a journalist and social media activist. A former Iloilo provincial administrator, he is now waging a crusade against corruption and narco-politics.

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