Unfair and unreasonable

Mega Harbour developer wants justification for Mayor Sara
THE PRESIDENT of the Mega Harbour described Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio rejection of the P39 million reclamation project as “unfair and unreasonable.”

Mega Harbour President Victor Songco is seeking explanation from Carpio on her decision to pull out from the Davao Coastline and Port Development Project.

“There goes the story of the Davao Coastline and Port Development Project — now being reduced to a mere memory of a historic vision – as it takes only a daughter to thumb down what her father and predecessor has proudly propped up,” a statement from the developer said. “We cannot stand for this.”

Carpio announced last week that the city would no longer pursue the multibillion deal.

But the developer said the Joint Venture Agreement (JVA) signed on June 21, 2016 is legally supported by the Sangguniang Panglungsod of Davao City through Resolution No. 02788-16 and Ordinance No. 0515-16.

“It was also signed and sworn to by then Mayor Duterte,” the statement said.

The developer claimed it complied with all the requirements and procedures for the project.

In a letter to Carpio dated July 27, Songco said that the company submitted all the necessary, as well as the additional, requirements imposed by the city government.

“Since then, we wasted no time and immediately undertook to comply with the prescribed procedures, as well as additional requirements, imposed by the City Government of Davao in order to implement the project,” Songco said.

Songco added that the developer had also presented the project to the Regional Infrastructure Development Committee.

“We submitted additional documents. We agreed to an increase in the local government’s land share. We undertook to develop an area for about 4,000 informal settlers along coastal roads and redevelopment of coastal barangays,” Songco’s letter pointed out.

The developer allocated P1.19 billion for redevelopment works, including roads and open spaces, Songco said.

“We also secured investments (capital and technical) from various local and foreign companies, in addition to investing and expending capital of our own, in order to finance and execute the P39-billion project,” he said.

As early as February 2017, the developer already started with the initial phases of the project.

Songco said they were “concerned and alarmed” by Carpio’s statement.

“If we are to believe the press statement released by your office, the reason for your unilateral and arbitrary decision to terminate the JVA was borne out of ‘weighing out the intentions of the project against its commercial viability, legal and social implications, and the project’s possible effects to the environment.’ This purported reason will not hold,” Songco said.

Songco accused Carpio of not being directly involved or comprehensively briefed on the project by both Mega Harbour and the National Economic Development Authority’s regional infrastructure development committee, as well as the Davao City Council.

“This is unfair and unreasonable,” Songco said.

Carpio is expected to release today another statement on Mega Harbour issue.