MODERN WHARF FACILITY TO BE AUCTIONED OFF
BY ROGER M. BALANZA
Davao City’s oldest and biggest private wharf will be losing grip on its 3.8-hectare wharf facility in Ilang, Bunawan District with its Foreshore Lease Agreement (FLA) with government about to expire.
An FLA is an agreement between the government and a grantee which is given a 25-year right to reclaim a foreshore area for commercial or industrial purposes.
The agreement is renewable only once and the reclaimed area and all developments therein become government property after the end of the renewed period.
Terminal Facilities and Services Corporation (Tefasco) has a renewed FLA which is about to expire.
But Tefasco may get permanent ownership of the facility and the reclaimed area covered by the FLA when it is auctioned off in a public bidding.
Tefasco has sought the endorsement of the Davao City government to purchase the property after the 50-year FLA expires.
Under the law, a grantee of an FLA has right to purchase the property if the local government where the property is located recommends an auction on ground that it does not have its own development plan on the property.
Tefasco has started the process of purchasing the property with a request for issuance of an endorsement and recommendation from the Davao City Council to place the property on the auction block.
Councilor Victorio Advincula, Jr., chair of the Sub-committee on Economic and Special Projects of the City Council Committee on Housing and Urban Development which is assigned to tackle the Tefasco request, said his committee may recommend the auction as the City Planning and Development Office certified that it has no development plan on the FLA area of Tefasco.
The auction and conduct of public bidding has also been recommended by the Community Environment and Natural Office (CENRO) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
Advincula said the public bidding would be supervised by the DENR.
Tefasco has played key role in the shipping and export and import sectors for decades as a major loading and unloading point thus contributing to Davao City’s economy.
It was the main hub of export Cavendish bananas and wood products in the 60s up to the 90s before other large private wharves were established in the Second District, Davao City’s industrialized zone.
Major domestic and ocean going vessels have called Tefasco its home for many decades.
In the mid-80s, the German shipping giant GearBulk made Tefasco the Philippine hub of its transshipment operations for products from Southeast Asian countries destined for US and European ports.
Tefasco has maintained its position as an important player in the ports operation industry with its multi-million modernization program that brought in modern loading and unloading equipment into its break bulk and container operations.