The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) is set to review its operations to comply with Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista’s marching order to reduce shipping and travel costs nationwide.
Last week, Bautista instructed the PPA to “make sure to further reduce shipping and travel costs nationwide and maintain high quality service at all ports.”
In response to the Transportation chief’s directive, PPA officer-charge-General Manager Manuel Boholano said, “Our first business order is to comply with the DOTr directive to lower travel and shipping costs.”
“This is a challenge that we welcome, so let’s start looking at this directive,” Boholano said in a statement.
The Ports agency said that among the areas considered for review were the statutory and regulatory costs imposed by the PPA as well as indirect costs related to the efficiency and productivity of the ports.
The PPA added that it is also scheduled to represent other maritime government agencies, shipping line operators, and other port stakeholders to discuss the efficient use of facilities particularly in high-volume ports such as the ports of Manila. , Batangas, Cagayan de Oro, Iloilo, among others, is considered the gateway port.
The agency said it is accelerating the digitalization of its processes such as Internet-based Port Operations and Receipting for Terminals System, the e-Permit Management System, Transport Accreditation, Permits and Pass for Ports, and interconnecting with other government agencies. to facilitate. the movement of freight and turnaround times of vessels faster delivery of raw materials for shippers and businesses resulting in lower overheads and faster travel times for regular passengers and tourist.
The agency also said it will continue to modernize and improve infrastructure to better provide shippers, regular sea-going public, and comfort and convenience of tourists while inside the ports.
Any possible reduction in port-related costs should be in addition to existing policies in place such as exemptions of students, senior citizens, differently-abled Persons, uniformed personnel, and Medal of Valor Awardees and their first-degree. relative to the payment of Passenger Terminal Fees at all PPA-controlled ports, it said.
The agency said it was recovering from the negative effects of the global pandemic as passage volume posted a 130% increase to 20.87 million passengers handled from January to May 2022 from 9.07 million passengers handled in the first five month of 2021.
Containerized cargo traffic, on the other hand, also rose 3.84% to 3.12 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) from 3.00 million TEUs in the same period last year.
Meanwhile, shipcalls – the number of vessels arriving at ports – rose 13.4% during the period compared to 153,007 shipcalls posted in 2021, the PPA said.
However, the agency said the freight volume remains flat at 101.74 million metric tons. —NB, GMA News