Home » Ports/Terminals » Stalled relocation North Harbor project

THE decision of the Office of the Philippine President (OP) to defer relocation of informal settlers in various parts of Metro Manila will affect North Harbor modernization efforts of the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA).

Port district manager for Luzon engineer Constante Fariñas said about 800 families who had already agreed to the relocation package offered by PPA backed out following the OP pronouncement.

“The relocation of settlers is on a moratorium but we are still working on it,” Fariñas said. “What we are finalizing right now is a budget as well as a livelihood program in the area of relocation.”

He said he hopes the budget will be approved soon so that relocation could proceed as planned otherwise the three-phase development of North Harbor will be negatively affected.

The Palace decision to include even more government agencies in the list of those that approve relocation programs is perceived as a further hindrance to the transfer of informal settlers. As it is, the Department of Social Welfare and Development, National Housing Authority, and Department of Public Works and Highways all have to sign off on any relocation.

Relocation of informal settlers is one of PPA’s deliverables to the new operator of the North Harbor, Manila North Harbour Port, Inc (MNHPI). All expenses for the relocation – estimated at P10 billion — will be shouldered by the PPA.

The port agency has for years been trying to relocate informal settlers but its efforts have been foiled by either the local or the national government. The stalemate has resulted in the increase in number of informal settlers around the port.

MNHPI, a joint venture between Harbour Centre Port Terminals, Inc and San Miguel Corp, committed to invest P14.5 billion in North Harbor, particularly to expand the port’s operational area. MNHPI is also planning to increase the port’s capacity to 5 million twenty-foot equivalent units a year from the current 1.5 million.

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