Business: Banago Port Still Undeclared as Port Zone
The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) inaugurated yesterday afternoon, the spanking new passenger terminal building and the Spanish-style Port ManagementOffice building right at the port area, but officials including Bacolod lone District Congressman Dr. Anthony Golez in a hardly-noticeable complaint bewailed the fact that a year after the construction of the port started, the city government through the City Council has not yet declared the area where a port is to become part of the zoning area of the city.
BANAGO PORT TERMINAL, BUILDING. Bacolod Congressman Dr. Anthony Rolando Golez, Jr. (left) and Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) officials starting with District Manager for Port District Office-Visayas Atty. Fernando Claveria, Port Manager-PMO South Harbor Atty. Francisquiel Mancile, Port Manager-PMO Dumaguete Annie Lee Manese, and Port Manager-Iloilo Winfred Elizalde at yesterday’s blessing and inauguration of the Passenger Terminal Building and the Ports Management Office Building at the Banago Port in Banago, Bacolod City.*(EAD-PIA6 photo)
In the process, without the declaration by the City Council, no further developments can be officially funded by the government which could reach as much as billion pesos, he added.
Visitors to the port including the media, top PPA officials and local and provincial government officials, observed that once loosened rocks and asphalt on the causeway road, has now been concreted. A passenger terminal building and the PPA port management office architecture Spanish-style also stood at the end of the port.
If it may be recalled, the port was once operated by the Negros Navigation Company, but when the management’s lease on the foreshore area expired about a years ago, it reverted back to the national government.
In an ambush interview after the inauguration ceremony, Golez said more developments including the reclamation of a four-hectare area could have been pursued but since the city government has not done this through the City Council, too, no funds would be released by the national government.
"The port zone delineation is needed and which City administrator Dr. Rogelio Balo and declared be done during the groundbreaking ceremony last year. But nothing has happened so far, a year after his promise, said Golez. The Bacolod City chief executive has not also lifted a finger to ensure that the port zone be delineated as such in the locational map in Bacolod," added Golez, his voice tinged with deep disappointment.
Golez emphasized that without the declaration, many more families would still be poverty-stricken and would go hungry.
Immediately, upon the declaration and delineation of the Banago port area, development would come in and funding which would benefit the poor around the port would be ensured, he said.
This would be a major development and which soon after it will be funded by ample government funds.
While Golez did not say the port development project was a major boon for the people of the city, there were some people who consciously would not like it because whether they like it or not, he has been the major initiator of such as a project which would change the city’s landscape.
There are many who say it is because of the traditional kind of politics why the project is being derailed, Golez said.
This is not the correct kind of politics, he added. On the national government’s part, without the delineation, there would be no basis for its further development. A declaration is needed because for one, if a businessman puts up a resort in the area, or near the area, no more funds would be poured in by the government.
With Banago Port’s development, Bacolod would have two major ports, one privately-owned in the BREDCO Port, the other, the Banago Port.*