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Controversial entrepreneur behind P39-B Davao project

12:28 AM July 05, 2016

THIS REFERS to the news story titled “Duterte OKs P39-B project in Davao” (Across the Nation, 6/24/16).

The project proponent, Mega Harbour Port and Development Inc., is a newly formed firm organized by a controversial entrepreneur.

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The news story did not mention the entrepreneur’s name. Instead it said that Victor Songco, as company president, signed on behalf of Mega Harbour Port, while President Duterte, as outgoing Davao City mayor, signed on behalf of the Davao City government.

The news story did not say that the same entrepreneur, despite heavy borrowings from government financial institutions, was unable to finish a multibillion-peso housing project. The entrepreneur faces many lawsuits for his inability to face his debts. He does not enjoy a positive reputation in the business community.

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The project is too big for Davao City. The volume of trade expected to pass through this port in the next three years and thereafter is not huge to justify a new P39-billion port project. The National Economic and Development Authority should not approve it. It is doubtful if the project proponent has carefully made the correct projections to establish its viability.

Furthermore, it is doubtful if the entrepreneur could muster sufficient funds from banking institutions to justify its pursuit. The entrepreneur has a soiled reputation in the banking community. It is therefore doubtful if banks would pour funds into the project.

The Neda should therefore take a careful look before it approves the project as the first PPP (public-private partnership) project under the present administration. Congress should also take a careful look into the project to determine the policy issues and implications involved.

—ARCHIMEDES R. MENDOZA, [email protected]

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TAGS: Davao, Duterte, letter, Letter to the Editor, Mega Harbour Port and Development Inc, NEDA, opinion, project, Rodrigo Duterte
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