Home » Customs & Trade » SC issues TRO vs Manila order stopping Berth 6 construction

THE Supreme Court (SC) recently barred the City of Manila from suspending the Berth 6 construction project entered into by the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) with International Container Terminal Services, Inc’s (ICTSI).

In a two-page decision penned by Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, the High Court issued a temporary restraining order against the implementation of Resolution No. 141 of the City Council of Manila. The directive recommended suspension of the Berth 6 project for failure to secure the City Council’s prior approval.

Entitled “Resolution Adopting the Committee Report of the Ad Hoc Committee Concerning the Investigation of the Reclamation Done in the area of Isla Puting Bato in Tondo, Manila”, the directive adopted and approved by the City Council on September 23, 2010 called for suspension of the project until all parties comply with requirements of the Local Government Code and the Manila Water Code.

“Now, therefore, effective immediately and continuing until further orders from this Court, You, the Mayor of the City of Manila, City Council of Manila, your agents, representatives and anyone acting on your behalf, are hereby restrained from stopping or suspending the implementation of MICT (Manila International Container Terminal) Berth 6 Project of PPA pursuant to Resolution No. 141 of the City Council of Manila, dated Sept. 23, 2010,” stated the two-page order dated December 8, 2010.

In its filings with the SC, ICTSI said the local government of Manila had no authority to impose additional requirements for the port construction. It added that the new Manila Water Code, which was also approved by the City Council, cannot amend the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) charter and the laws applicable to reclamation of land for port projects by requiring prior approval of the city mayor and the City Council.

ICTSI is investing P4.5 billion for a seaport development project, which includes construction of Berth 6 located north of MICT. The development approved by PPA and the Philippine Reclamation Authority calls for reclamation and development of new land covering 23.4 hectares.

Berth 6 is expected to service post-Panamax vessels of up to 85,000 deadweight tons.

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