Sunday, May 16, 2021
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North Harbor port operator must submit JV papers this week

THE Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) is giving North Harbor operator Manila North Harbour Port, Inc (MNHPI) until this week to submit incorporation papers of its partnership with San Miguel Corp (SMC).

SMC holds a minority stake in MNHPI after buying out Metro Pacific Investment Corp’s (MPIC) holdings in the company. MNHPI was initially a joint venture between MPIC and Harbour Centre Port Terminals, Inc (HCPTI).

PPA said the incorporation papers are part of requirements to check MNHPI’s compliance with conditions of its North Harbor port contract. MNHPI took over the port in April.

Other requirements are the submission of a North Harbor Phase I master plan and the payment of past service benefits due the absorbed port workers. Both have yet to be complied with although with regard to payments of benefits, MNHPI has shelled out an initial P90 million.

In an interview at the 3rd general membership meeting of the Philippine Chamber of Arrastre and Stevedoring Operators last week, PPA general manager Atty Juan Sta Ana said MNHPI has yet to submit the composition of the new joint venture — as may be gleaned from the company’s incorporation papers — since MPIC severed its ties with HCPTI in June.

For now, the PPA team evaluating MNHPI’s compliance to the port contract seems satisfied. Initial audit results point to MNHPI having installed sufficient cargo-handling equipment at the North Harbor and paying the correct fixed fees to PPA.

The full report will be submitted by end of the week. The PPA Board will have the final say on whether MNHPI fully complied with its contract commitments or not.


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