The Bacolod Sangguniang Panlungsod approved the proposed memorandum of agreement to be entered into by the Bacolod Real Estate Development Corp.and Bacolod City, Wednesday.
Those who voted in favor of the approval were Councilors Em Ang, Cindy Rojas, Elmer Sy, Ana Marie Palermo, Wilson Gamboa Jr., Dindo Ramos, Bartolome Orola, Sr., Sonya Verdeflor, Caesar Distrito and Noli Villarosa, while Councilors Ricardo Tan and Claudio voted against it.
Councilor Renecito Novero inhibited from voting because of his professional relationship with BREDCO, being its legal counsel.
Distrito, chairperson of the SP Committee on Laws, Ordinances and Good Government, yesterday said that an annual compensation amounting to P6 million has been agreed upon by both parties in granting BREDCO's option to operate and manage the port for another 25 years.
He said the amount is advantageous to the city as it is almost a 800 percent increase from the original proposal of BREDCO of P800,000.
Aside from the increase, the city is also entitled to an upward adjustment of P8,048,640 in terms of arrears, he added.
“The City of Bacolod is taking a reciprocal benefit from the contract since it spent nothing on the development of the port. Like the Build-Transfer-Operate, Public-Private Partnership and Build, Build, Build program, the approval of this MOA recognizes the indispensable role of the private sector in operating and maintaining the port,” Distrito said.
In this case, there was no loan or government funds used. Instead, the city will even earn and get compensation, he said.
Distrito said the city is bound under the Comprehensive Revised Reclamation Agreement to honor the right of BREDCO to extend the contract for another 25 years as it is their exclusive option under the 1995 agreement.
Councilor Dindo Ramos said if they will not honor the same, there will again be an impasse and BREDCO will just continue to operate while the court is hearing the case, and the city will just receive the same amount of P800,000.
Distrito said it is either that the court will affirm the right of BREDCO to extend their contract or give it back to the city, but the city will be paying BREDCO billions for the cost of the port facility.
The city will therefore be at a disadvantageous position if that happens, he said.
BREDCO, in return, promised to modernize the port, put up a world class facility and passenger terminal, and review its present rate, he added.*CGS
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