Cebu News

Compania Maritima dispute: I’m defending heritage over business - Mayor Michael Rama

Iris Hazel M. Mascardo - The Freeman
Compania Maritima dispute: I�m defending heritage over business - Mayor Michael Rama
Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama wants the Cebu Port Authority (CPA), which has control and jurisdiction of the city’s port, to pay taxes to the city government following disagreement over the ownership of the compania maritima properties. The photo shows the aerial view of the city’s port area.
Joy Torrejos

CEBU, Philippines — Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama is insisting that the ongoing dispute with the Cebu Port Authority (CPA) on the ownership of the Compania Maritima is a matter of defending heritage and sea preservation and not “business.”

Following the statement of CPA debunking the allegations that it is building a 20-storey structure within the premises, Rama said that the thought may have been initiated by the previous officials of the CPA.

"Unsa man diay tong papel nga gikan sa Megawide gikan sa multo? Naa man ko’y kopya ato, kaklaro ato. Mao ng usahay di lang gud ta magminaot. Kay kung magminaot ta, mangaigo ta," Rama said during an interview of the city government's Sugbuanon Channel Program.

"Ako ng gi-highlight didto sa opisina ni Secretary Bautista, niingon ko ni Secretary Bautista na yes it may be true, Sec, nga wala na nila na gihunahuna karon ang 20-storey, it could be the previous CPA," he added.

In his previous statements, Rama said he will be seeking the intervention of Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista on the matter.

The mayor, however, expressed that regardless of the positioning on the structure, the CPA is still not authorized to impose or build anything without obtaining a permit from the Cebu City government.

In context, the Regional Trial Court has earlier ruled in favor of the CPA, which filed a complaint representing the Republic of the Philippines against the Cebu City Government, on the issue of the ownership of the Compania Maritima.

In a 22-page decision dated June 5, 2023, the court affirmed that the Compania Maritima premises are situated within the Baseport of Cebu, as defined under Executive Order No. 448, s. 1975, and that it belongs to the Republic of the Philippines, through the CPA.

It was previously reported that the Cebu City Government through the Office of the Building Official (OBO) has issued a notice of Illegal Construction and Work Stoppage Order to CPA for allegedly installing a fence at South Road Properties without a corresponding necessary permit.

Architect Florante Catalan, head official of OBO, said they issued the notice after they learned that CPA had constructed a 2.5-meter fence without obtaining a permit from them.

The fence was demolished right after the issuance.

In the same interview, Rama emphasized that he doesn't want to be involved with “business” adding that his principle remained anchored on public service.

"Pasabot, ang tumong ra gyud nato is defending heritage," said Rama.— (FREEMAN)

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