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Why give away the goose that lays golden eggs

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Last August 14, 2012 the Port Management Advisory Council of PMO - Zamboanga with Mr. Leonilo E. Miole as the port manager met various port stakeholders and salient issues were taken up for discussions.

The operation of the Zamboanga City Integrated Port Services, Inc. (ZCIPSI) for short, was one of the important agenda taken up during the meeting Top executives of ZCIPSI, Mr. Simon and Romeo Racela were present and briefed the PMAC members on the operational aspects and policies of their water front entrepreneur.

These top entrepreneurs facilitated the questions and answers portion with the port manager acted as the moderator. Mr. Simon incidentally the brother of Dave Simon, Assistant General Managaer of PPA, and in his capacity as head of ZCIPSI unhesitatingly divulged the plan and interest of the corporation to operate the passenger terminal shed (PTS) at present under the management and operation of PPA – PMO  Zamboanga.

Port Manager Leonilo E. Miole informed PMAC members of his desire and plan to transfer the operation of the PTS to the private sector. In short, the option is for the privatization of the passenger terminal shed, which to my mind, a goose that lays golden eggs for PPA and not in any way a white elephant.

Here’s one salient and ticklish issue – why PPA – PORT of Zamboanga has thought of the option to give away this goose that gives golden eggs for the government port. Its operation under an able and competent supervisor is very efficient and highly treated an income generating facility for PMO – Zamboanga.

For purposes of discussion viewed in the light of projecting whether the proposal for privalization of PTS is valid, sound and meritorious, let us therefore discern the facts and income projection

At the rate of two million outbound passengers per year with the present terminal fee of P 11.00, PPA – Zamboanga stands to earn an income of P 22 million. It is part of the corporate social responsibility of the PPA to provide convenient and comfortable facility such as passenger terminal building. Why oh, why give it away to private entrepreneurs whose mission and vision focused on profit.

The PPA – PMO Zamboanga is now undertaking the renovation and improvement of the passenger terminal building at a cost of P15.4 million. It is expected its completion would be in the month of November this year. Its investment is the installation of air – condition units and new seating facilities.

There are speculations the terminal fee will increase from P 11.00 to a reasonable amount depending on the rate approved after public hearing has been held. It takes effect once it gets imprimatur of the PPA board.   

Assuming, the terminal fee would increase, let us say, P 20 to P 25 pesos per outbound passengers and at the rate of two million ship passengers per year or even more, PPA possibly realize P 50 million income from the operation of the PTS in one year. Then, the $ 64 question, why give it to the private entrepreneurs whose grandest motive is PROFIT not services. The entrepreneur would be happy and joyful to enjoy luxury of large domestic income without economic investment in the construction of building and its facilities.

It is about time that our local political leaders to adopt a solid and vehement stand opposing the plan of PPA to give away  the PTS to private sector. Local legislative bodies in the region and the ARMM shall take the lead in the opposition to privatize the passenger terminal shed for the benefit and interest of the ship passengers passing through the government port in Zamboanga City.

Till the next issue folks. Godspeed. Maybe, this column will print an interesting issue in lamitan city. The railroading of a supplemental budget for fiscal year 2012.

By Peryasser Lahaman




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