PPA public hearing set for tariff hike on cargo handling PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 25 January 2012 13:55

The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), Port Management Office of Zamboanga, is set to conduct public hearings in Zamboanga and Basilan on January 26 and January 27 respectively, for the proposed rationalized nationwide cargo handling tariff increase.

The proposed increase is a move by the Philippine Chamber of Arrastre and Stevedoring Operators (PCASO), the representative agency of arrastre and stevedoring operators from all over the Philippines. PCASO is proposing for a 30% tariff increase on port services for general or conventional cargo, while it is proposing a 20% increase on port services for containerized cargo.

The cargo handling operators of Baseport Zamboanga and of the Port of Isabela are PCASO members. The Zamboanga City Integrated Port Services Incorporated (ZCIPSI) has been handling cargoes in Baseport Zamboanga since 2005, while the Basilan Dockhandlers Corporation (BDC) has been operating in the Port of Isabela since the 1970s. Both cargo handling operators have been calling for increased rates since last year, as they have been suffering the brunt of profit loss and are allegedly struggling to break even in their respective cargo handling operations.

PCASO echoes this very sentiment, asserting that the proposed increase is only appropriate due to significant changes in the economy with rising prices of commodities, increased labor costs and the need for investing in sophisticated equipment and facilities. 

The public hearing for Baseport Zamboanga on January 26 will be held at 9:00 a.m. at the Conference Room of the Philippine Ports Authority’s Administration Building at the Port Area while the public hearing for the Port of Isabela on January 27 will be held at 9:00 a.m. at J.J. Twins Pavilion Restaurant located at Valderosa Street in Isabela City.

PPA Port Manager Leonilo E. Miole encourages all port users and shipping line operators to attend the slated public hearings so that they would comprehend the proposal and understand its impact. Being present would also mean that they could voice out their opinion on the matter. Failure to attend the event will be construed to mean that the public is amenable to the agreements made during the conduct of said hearings.