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By: Eleonor Valeros | Published Friday, November 08, 2019
Maritime and Cebu Ports Authority officials together with shipping lines representatives met with Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia and 5th Dist. Rep. Duke Frasco to resolve the issue on illegal imposition of lounge fees by a private entity in Danao Port. (Junjie Mendoza)

Passengers going to Camotes Island will now be relieved of the inconvenience caused by the compulsory P25 fee collected inside a mall at the Port of Danao City.

Starting today, November 8, Jomalia Shipping Lines will put up its ticketing station back to the old area where collection was used to be done in Danao Port. The regulated terminal fee in the old area at the Cebu Ports Authority in Danao will be back to P5.

Marc Lua, sales and marketing manager of Jomalia Shipping Corporation, said he will call an emergency meeting of the Board of Directors immediately to notify them of getting back to the old procedure.

Fifth District Rep. Vincent Franco “Duke” Frasco sought a meeting with agencies governing operations of the Danao City Port and shipping lines serving the Danao-Camotes-Danao route at the Office of the Governor last Thursday, to resolve the issue on overcollection of terminal fee from passengers passing through the Port of Danao City.

Frasco pointed out that when a mall started its business operations adjacent to the Port of Danao City, the passenger terminal of the port was closed to the public, and instead, passengers are required to enter through the mall’s waiting lounge and pay lounge fees in the amount of P20 in addition to the P5 terminal fees being charged by the CPA.

Frasco earlier asked that the mall’s collection of lounge fees from passengers be investigated, as well as Danao Port’s operations, in redirecting passengers to go through the private waiting lounge instead of using the port’s passenger terminal.

Last September, Frasco pushed House Resolution 304 asking the Committee on Transportation to conduct a probe on the issue.

He said in his resolution that the imposition of lounge fees by the private entity impairs the passenger’s right to travel and freedom of movement and it also encroaches the existence of CPA.

He added in that the mall, which is a private entity, should not profit from the operations of the Port of Danao, a public port, without a valid contract or permit from the CPA.

In his resolution, Frasco banked on the following legal bases – Section 6, Article III of the 1987 Constitution, Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and Section 9 of Republic Act 7621 or the Cebu Ports Authority Charter.

According to Atty. Benjamin Cabrido, Jr., legal consultant to the Governor, the shipping lines could face suspension or cancellation of their Certificate of Public Convenience (CPC) for over-collection. The CPC is an authority issued by the MARINA to a domestic water transport service provider to operate a vessel for commercial or public use.  (Eleanor Valeros)