Home » Maritime » Local lines seek audit of North Harbor equipment

THE Philippine Liner Shipping Association (PLSA) is asking the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) to audit cargo-handling equipment provided by Manila North Harbour Port, Inc (MNHPI).

“The inventory will determine if MNHPI complied specifically with certain provisions of its contract as to the number and kind of cargo-handling muscle,” a PLSA source told PortCalls.

The source who requested anonymity noted PLSA member lines continue to use their own cargo-handling equipment, suggesting a continuing lack in resources at the North Harbor.

Under the North Harbor contract, MNHPI should provide all equipment at the facility. But in April when MNHPI took over port operations, there was an apparent lack of equipment leading to chaos in operations of shipping lines, among other users. MNHPI thereafter promised to install additional cargo-handling equipment within three months.

The PortCalls source, however, said PLSA members are still waiting for this to happen, “casting doubts if there is really forthcoming equipment.”

The source added, “We already wrote a letter to PPA addressed to new general manager Atty Juan Sta Ana requesting an audit and we expect an answer anytime now.”

He said disappointing results of the inventory may give PPA the ammunition to penalize MNHPI for contract non-compliance or even nullification.

PLSA is currently awaiting decision on a case it filed with the Supreme Court seeking to declare as null and void the 25-year North Harbor contract due to MNHPI’s failure to provide the required cargo-handling equipment, and a contract provision allowing the imposition of a 5% concession fee on all ancillary services at the port.

PLSA is also pursuing a case it filed before the Office of the Ombudsman against North Harbor manager Engineer Constante Fariñas also involving the North Harbor privatization.

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