Press Release
April 12, 2023

Poe: Port fees should not be passed on to consumers

Sen. Grace Poe urged concerned government agencies to ensure that consumers do not bear the costs of fees and charges imposed on shipping lines for the use of the country's ports.

Poe issued the call as the Senate committee on public services which she leads conducted a public hearing on Senate Resolution No. 484 on the various administrative orders that increased port fees.

"Solusyon nga ba ang mga polisiyang ito o dagdag problema lamang? Does replacing container deposits with insurance and monitoring fees protect users? If so, why are the users complaining? In creating reforms to our maritime trade, panahon na para magkaroon ng regulations sa excessive charges kasabay ng pagsuporta sa paglago ng shipping industry. Were there sufficient studies and stakeholder consultations to support these policies?" Poe said.

"Gusto nating maayos at ma-modernize ang sistema pero ayaw naman nating ipasa lahat sa port users at kalaunan ay sa mga ordinaryong konsyumer ang mga bagong port fees. High shipping rates also worsen inflation. Lahat tayo ay maapektuhan ng pagtaas ng mga produkto sa merkado," she added.

The committee also scrutinized the Philippine Ports Authority's (PPA) administrative orders on the introduction of a Centralized Ticketing System, Prescribed Waste Reception Fees in all PPA Ports, Mandatory Tree/Mangrove Planting, and the Port Terminal Management Regulatory Framework.

Poe said the government should listen to claims by shipping industry associations and organizations that these administrative orders will result to higher port charges that will lead to a drastic increase in logistics costs.

Poe also welcomed the announcement of the Department of Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista to suspend implementation of the PPA's digitization program through the Trusted Operator Program- Container Registry and Monitoring System (TOP-CRMS).

The program is an electronic tagging and tracking system where container movement and port users shall be enrolled in the system.

Poe said the government should heed the issues of high logistics costs as these do not only affect the shipping industry but the ordinary consumers as well.

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