Vans-for-hire will stay at Maritima for now
May B. Miasco/ATO (The Freeman) - October 5, 2015 - 10:00am

CEBU, Philippines - South Cebu-bound vans-for-hire will still stay at the Compania Maritima premises, for now, after the Cebu City government and the Cebu Port Authority made an initial agreement over the disputed property.

The recent discussion between Mayor Michael Rama and CPA General Manager Edmund Tan reportedly resulted to amenable conditions following CPA’s request for the city to vacate the old port area which is currently used as a temporary terminal for v-hires.

“I had a phone conversation with the reasonable and fair admiral Edmund Tan last night (September 4),” Rama told reporters yesterday in a teleconference.

He, however, declined to discuss the details on his conversation with Tan but said it ended well for him.

“I don’t want to talk about it now in details,” said Rama.

“I do not want to add up because it was something that was a pleasant discussion. It does not have to be seriously interacted or answered as much less implied by,” he added.

The latest development was affirmed in a separate interview with Tan.

“Nag-usap na kami, okay na kami. We agreed to closely work together for the good of the people of Cebu,” he said in a telephone interview yesterday.

He added the v-hire operations will remain at the Compania Maritima premises for the moment but will have to transfer 14 days from now.

“What we will do is just let the v-hire stay there now as I was assured by City Administrator (Dr. Lucille Mercado) that on October 19 the terminal will be transferred to a new site,” he said.

The v-hires used to park and wait for passengers at the One Citilink Terminal along N. Bacalso Avenue.  How-ever, operation of the terminal was shut down after Rama ordered its closure on July 28 reportedly for not securing a business permit and for its unpaid obligations to the city.

The terminal was recently opened though, after the court ordered for it to be reopened.

But some van drivers and operators have decided to stay at the Compania Maritima open space.

The city government, which is claiming ownership of the Compania Maritima property, has accommodated the v-hire drivers and operators at an open space meters away from the City Hall.

Despite the city’s claims, CPA has insisted ownership of the century-old Compania Maritima building and the surrounding land area.

Tan, referring to the property rights, said that both parties decided to have the case resolved through the court’s ruling.

“We have agreed to just let the court decide to settle the issue as we already filed a case on this in court,” he said.

CPA recently sought a restraining order from the court to stop the city from using the Compania Maritima property, arguing that the national government through the CPA has clear and rights over the property being the administrator and beneficial user.  (FREEMAN)


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