Press Release
February 22, 2023

HONTIVEROS WANTS SENATE PROBE INTO ORDERS LEADING TO VERY HIGH PORT FEES

Senator Risa Hontiveros has filed a resolution seeking to investigate, in aid of legislation, the administrative orders issued by the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) that have led to an 'excessive' rise in port fees.

"These administrative orders are causing distress not only to the shipping operators but also to ordinary consumers. An increase in shipping costs poses a risk of further raising already burdensome pricing and inflation. This may affect how importers price their products. And in the end, it is the general public who will be hit by the biggest blow. Hindi ito dapat hayaang pasanin ng ating mga konsyumer na iniinda pa rin ang mataas na presyo ng bilihin at pamasahe," she said.

In the Proposed Senate Resolution No. 484, Hontiveros specifically mentioned administrative orders (A.O.) pertaining to the grant of port terminal management contracts to bidders with the highest concession price (No. 12-2018), implementation of a "Central Ticketing System" (No. 12-2019); increase in the garbage collection fees (No. 01-2020, as amended); and creation of a mechanism for registration and monitoring of containers entering and exiting ports (No. 04-2021).

The Philippine Coastwise Shipping Association, the largest shipping association in the Philippines, stated that these PPA policies caused "an increase in port charges within the country as much as 2,000 percent, thus increasing domestic logistics costs to the detriment of the public."

Also stated in the resolution is the worry of industry organizations and trade organizations that the direct charges for registration and monitoring of containers in the ports such as insurance, transaction, and transportation fees, would raise import prices by over 50%.

The resolution further noted that the PCSA has already requested the Department of Transportation to evaluate port terminal management contracts that allegedly raised rates in important ports in Ozamis, Ormoc, Zamboanga, Tagbilaran, Surigao, Tacloban, Legazpi, Calapan, Nasipit, and Matnog.

"An efficient maritime transport network is of critical importance to our economy. Even the National Economic and Development Authority recognized that shipping costs are too high and they are a threat to national development. I urge my colleagues in the Senate to look into these increases immediately, recommend the regulation of these rates, and introduce port reforms to address inefficiencies, if necessary," the Senator concluded.

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