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Sat. Mar 2nd, 2024

P1-Billion PPA Arrastre Contract Awarded to Bohol Governor’s Company

The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) has awarded a 15-year cargo-handling contract for five ports in Bohol to a joint venture of Animas Bros Arrastre Stevedoring Services, Inc. and Tarsier Arrastre Stevedoring, Inc.

In a document obtained by Bohol News, Bohol Governor Aris Aumentado and his wife, Congresswoman Vanessa Aumentado, appeared to have stake in the winning arrastre company.

Company records showed that Tarsier Arrastre Stevedoring company is headed by its President, Maria Vanessa C. Aumentado, who oversees the overall management and direction of the company.

The company’s General Manager, Simon Bernard D. Valle, is responsible for the day-to-day operations and administration of the company.

Operation Supervisor, Romeo G. Trazo, is in charge of the planning, coordination, and supervision of the cargo handling activities at the port.

The Statistician, Samantha P. Torniado, is tasked with the collection, analysis, and reporting of the cargo handling data and statistics.

Company’s Checkers, Ruben O. Garcia Jr., Alberto L. Garcia, and Antonio A. Eronico, are the ones who verify, inspect, and record the cargo details and condition.

Admin/Finance Officer, Lynn L. Valleser, is the one who handles the financial and administrative matters of the company, such as payroll, billing, accounting, and human resources.

The company’s Bookkeeper, Saturnina C. Villa, is the one who maintains and updates the financial records and books of the company.

Clerk, Marcilyn A. Bersano, is the one who performs clerical and secretarial duties, such as filing, typing, and answering phone calls.

Tarsier Arrastre Collectors, Ma. Fe E. Alampayan and Margie C. Trazo, are the ones who collect the payments and fees from the customers and issue receipts and invoices.

PPA CONTRACT

The contract, worth P967.5 million, covers cargo handling, passenger services, and other port-related services for the ports in Jagna, Tapal, Ubay, Talibon, and Getafe, which handle passengers and roll-on/roll-off vessels.

The contract is the first to be awarded under the Port Terminal Management Regulatory Framework (PTMRF) by PPA, which sets rules for terminal management contracts to ensure global standards and transparent selection processes.

The Bohol ports cluster is under Tier 3 of the PTMRF, where the contractor manages above-ground fixtures and mobile-handling equipment.

PPA also allows the clustering of port terminal management at various ports to enhance commercial viability.

PPA is also bidding out contracts for two clusters of ports in Misamis Oriental, and its first Tier 1 (full concession) port, the Iloilo Commercial Port Complex.

About Tarsier Arrastre and Stevedoring Services, Inc.

Tarsier Arrastre and Stevedoring Services, Inc. (TASSI) is a cargo handling company that operates at the Port of Talibon, a municipal port located in Poblacion, Talibon, Bohol.

The company was established in 2005, and has been providing quality and reliable cargo handling services to the port’s customers, including domestic and foreign vessels, shippers, consignees, and other port users.

The company’s vision is to become a competitive and efficient cargo handler in the region, and to contribute to the growth and development of the port and the local economy.

Its mission is to deliver excellent and timely cargo handling services to its customers, and to ensure the safety and security of the cargo, the port, and the environment.

The company’s core values are integrity, professionalism, teamwork, innovation, and customer satisfaction.

It has a total of 15 employees, who are all trained and skilled in their respective roles and functions.

The company has a fleet of equipment and facilities, such as forklifts, cranes, trucks, trailers, pallets, containers, and warehouses, that are used for the loading, unloading, stacking, storing, and transporting of the cargo.

It handles various types of cargo, such as general cargo, bulk cargo, containerized cargo, and break-bulk cargo, that are shipped to and from different destinations, such as Cebu, Manila, Leyte, Mindanao, and other countries.

According to its public profile, TASSI follows the rules and regulations of the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), and other relevant agencies, in terms of cargo handling standards, tariffs, permits, and licenses.

The company also adheres to the environmental and safety policies and practices, such as waste management, pollution prevention, emergency response, and risk assessment, to protect the health and well-being of its employees, customers, and the community.

TASSI has been recognized and awarded by various organizations and institutions, such as the PPA, the DOTC, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), and the local government, for its outstanding performance and service in the cargo handling industry.

The company is also a member of various associations and networks, such as the Philippine Association of Cargo Handlers (PACH), the Philippine Association of Stevedoring Companies (PASC), and the Bohol Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), that aim to promote and enhance the cargo handling sector in the country.

TASSI is committed to continuously improve and innovate its cargo handling services, and to meet and exceed the expectations and needs of its customers and stakeholders.

Tapal Port: A Rising Hub for Cargo Handling in Bohol

The Port of Tapal, located in the municipality of Ubay, Bohol, has been undergoing significant development and improvement since 2002, with the aim of becoming a competitive and efficient port for cargo handling in the region.

The port, which is a sub-port of the Terminal Management Office of Ubay, is part of the 10-year development plan drafted by the Port Management Office of Tagbilaran. The plan includes the reclamation and provision of R.C. Wharf and Back-up area, which were completed in 2005 through the TRANSVIZ/DOTC development project, with a total cost of 100 million pesos.

The Port of Tapal has been serving as a potential alternative port of Ubay Port, which cannot accommodate bigger cargo vessels due to its low sea depth. The port’s geographic location also attracts vessel operators to call at the port, especially during bad weather, when the port offers a safe place for anchorage.

Since the port became operational, it has been facing the challenge of having insufficient workforce to manage its operations. Most of the time, a vessel calling at the port has to clear its vessel at the port of Ubay, which is 7 kilometers away from the port of Tapal.

To address this problem, and to effectively and efficiently serve its port users and clientele, the cargo handling services at the port of Tapal were opened for bidding in 2005. The one-year contract was awarded to Tarsier Arrastre and Stevedoring Services Incorporation (TASSI), which has been operating as the sole cargo handler at the port since September 2005. The contract has been renewed annually at the Port District Office of the Visayas, Cebu.

TASSI has been providing quality and reliable cargo handling services to the port’s customers, and has been contributing to the growth and development of the port and the local economy.

2022 GRAFT CASES

Cong. Aumentado faces graft charges over mansion, arrastre firm

Former Bohol Second District Representative Erico Aristotle Cabagnot Aumentado and his wife, Maria Vanessa Cadorna Aumentado, are facing graft charges before the Office of the Ombudsman for allegedly violating the laws on ethical standards, conflict of interest, and unexplained wealth.

The complaint-affidavit was filed by Kevin Damalerio on April 28, 2022. Damalerio accused the couple of three counts of graft and corruption, namely:

– Non-declaration of their new mansion in Barangay Mariveles, Dauis, Bohol in Cong. Aumentado’s Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) for 2021, despite flaunting it on social media through a vlog by Paolo Rigotti. 

Damalerio said that Cong. Aumentado admitted on Facebook that he did not declare the mansion in his SALN because it was supposedly obtained through a loan, which is a violation of Section 8 in relation to Section 11 of Republic Act No. 6713, or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees. 

Damalerio said that this is a clear admission against interest, as Cong. Aumentado, being a lawmaker for nine years, should know that SALN includes loan obligations as a form of liabilities.

– Non-divestment in Tarsier Arrastre Stevedoring Services, Inc. (TASSI), a cargo handling company that operates in several ports in Bohol, including those in Cong. Aumentado’s district. 

Damalerio said that Cong. Aumentado, aided by his wife who acted as a conduit and dummy, violated Section 7 (b) (1) and Section 9 in relation to Section 11 of RA 6713, which prohibit public officials and employees from owning, controlling, managing, or accepting employment in any private enterprise regulated, supervised, or licensed by their office, unless expressly allowed by law. 

Damalerio had claimed that Cong. Aumentado did not resign from his position as chairman and president of TASSI, nor divest from his shareholdings, until the latter part of 2014, despite assuming as caretaker congressman after his late father’s death in late 2012, and being elected for his first term in the May 2013 elections. 

Damalerio said that this constitutes a clear conflict of interest, as Cong. Aumentado can influence the budget, staffing, and operations of the Philippine Ports Authority, which bids out the arrastre and stevedoring services in the ports.

– Dismissal from service and perpetual disqualification to hold public office due to unexplained wealth under Section 8 of Republic Act No. 3019, as amended, or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, in relation to Republic Act No. 1379, or the Forfeiture of Unlawfully Acquired Property. 

Complainant Damalerio said that ex-Cong. Aris Aumentado and his wife have amassed properties and assets that are manifestly out of proportion to their lawful income and sources of income, such as the mansion in Dauis, the shares in TASSI, and other real and personal properties. Damalerio said that these properties and assets are presumed to be unlawfully acquired, unless the respondents can prove otherwise.

Damalerio said he filed the complaint-affidavit as a concerned citizen and taxpayer, and as a former public servant who believes in the rule of law and good governance. 

He said that he hoped that the Ombudsman will act swiftly and fairly on his complaint, and hold the respondents accountable for their alleged graft and corruption.

Cong. Aumentado and his wife have not issued any statement regarding the complaint-affidavit as of press time.

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