Home » Ports/Terminals » North Harbor operator eyed to advance squatter relocation fund

THE Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) may ask North Harbor operator Manila North Harbor Port, Inc (MNHPI) to advance funds needed to relocate informal settlers in and around the port.

Under the North Harbor’s 25-year operation and management contract, PPA is required to relocate squatters before MNHPI begins port modernization. PPA, however, lacks the funds to do so.

“Based on our schedule, the relocation… should have started but due to lack of funds we couldn’t begin,” Manila Port District Manager Constante Fariñas said at the sidelines of PPA’s 36th anniversary celebration last Friday.

An initial PPA study said 124 families needed relocation, each of whom should be paid P20,000.

“We are trying to work out a plan for MNHPI to advance the amount that we are going to use in our program,” Fariñas said. “Hopefully, by the end of this year we have already (relocated) at least 50% of the informal settlers.”

While waiting for funding, PPA is also awaiting the composition of a new PPA Board, which will approve the North Harbor port master plan and work schedule that will be submitted by MNHPI, now also composed of new partners Harbour Centre Port Terminals, Inc and San Miguel Corp (SMC).

SMC recently replaced Metro Pacific Investments Corp in the joint venture after the latter pushed for – but failed – to secure majority share in MNHPI from HCPTI.

In the first three years of the 25-year management and operation contract, North Harbor is expected to handle 1-million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) from only 800,000 TEUs annually and 2.5 million passengers annually or more than half its current capacity.

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