Opening of Mindanao container port a boon to Normin business, says Lorenzo
Cagayan de Oro City (26 January) -- JOBS Generation Secretary Cito Lorenzo hailed the decision of the Court of Appeals-Mindanao, ordering the reopening of the Mindanao International Container Terminal (MICT), stressing that this would allow the full operation of the container terminal and enable Northern Mindanao to realize its vision of becoming a major transshipment hub.
As Cabinet Officer for Regional Development (CORD) for Northern Mindanao, Lorenzo had coordinated with the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel and other government offices to help resolve the legal row, which hobbled the MICT? operation after the matter had been brought up to him during the Regional Development Council meeting held last October 22, 2004.
The container terminal had been temporarily closed after Judge Downey Valdevilla of the Regional Trial Court Branch 39 of Misamis Oriental issued a temporary restraining order in April 2004 and preliminary injunction order in May 2004 based on a complaint filed by a Cagayan de Oro port-based handler.
In the decision penned by Associate Justice Arturo G. Tayag, concurred with by Associate Justices Edgardo A. Camello and Rodrigo F. Lim, it was cited: "... considering the high public interest and huge financial investment at stake, there now appears an urgent need that the present state of affairs be reserved, otherwise, the continued effectivity of the issued writ of preliminary injunction will cause injustice and irreparable damage, not only to the herein petitioner, but also to the national government and the people of Northern Mindanao."
According to Regional Director Myra Balandra of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA-10), the Northern Mindanao business community expects the full operation of the MICT to open up a watershed of trade and investment opportunities within the next few months.
She acknowledged that Secretary Lorenzo's direct link to Malacanang as cabinet secretary and his intervention in the legal row, which impaired MICT, proved crucial as it accelerated and cut through a potentially lengthy court case.
She described the business sector as overwhelmingly happy with the reopening of the MICT, a testament to the effective joining of the government commitment and the private sector initiative to prosper Mindanao.
Arsenio Sebastian III, Northern Mindanao Regional Governor of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the Northern Mindanao business sector is happy about the reopening and expects this development would facilitate the flow of goods from the region.
He likewise acknowledged the role played by CORD-10, Secretary Cito Lorenzo.
The MICT is a modern, high-capacity container terminal, which was built to provide Northern Mindanao with a cost-efficient means of transporting agricultural and industrial goods within the country and internationally.
The P3.2-billion container terminal was funded through loans from the Japan Bank of International Cooperation.
Secretary Lorenzo will be conducting his first leg of a series of Provincial CORD Assembly Meetings focused on issues and concerns of each of the provinces in Region 10.
"After conducting the Special and Expanded Regional Development Council meeting last October, I now want to focus on the issues and concerns at the provincial level," Lorenzo said.
Secretary Lorenzo is scheduled to meet the following governors on January 26: Gov. Oscar Moreno of Misamis Oriental, Gov. Leo Ocampos of Misamis Occidental, and Gov. Imelda Dimaporo of Lanao del Norte.
In February, Lorenzo is set to meet with Gov. Jose Ma. R. Zubiri Jr. of Bukidnon and Gov. Pedro Romualdo of Camiguin. (Office of the Presidential Adviser for Jobs Generation) [top]