Home » Breaking News, Maritime, Ports/Terminals » Batangas Port fees now 50% less

President Benigno Aquino III recently approved a 50% cut in port dues and dockage fees for one year in favor of vessels calling at the Batangas international seaport, about 110 kilometers south of the Philippine capital Manila.

Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr informed former Transportation Secretary Manuel Roxas of the reduction in a letter dated August 21. The request for a cut was made by Roxas and formed part of recommendations made by Japanese and Filipino consultants on how to ease port traffic in Manila.

After he was given the transportation portfolio last year, Roxas took heed of persistent clamor by the business sector to ease traffic gridlock in Metro Manila by decongesting Manila ports.

The suggestion was first raised by the Export Development Council after Subic Freeport and Port of Batangas were upgraded to meet international shipping standards yet few cargo vessels called at the two alternative ports and congestion at Manila ports persisted.

Roxas, recently appointed interior secretary, sought the help of port operations and shipping experts from the Japan International Cooperation Agency who, in turn, recruited local partners to look at how to divert cargo to Subic and Batangas ports. The Japanese government helped build the Batangas and Subic ports.

Consultations with logistics stakeholders were called where it was determined that for Subic and Batangas to become viable, two ship calls each week were needed. Promotional rates were also suggested.

The government’s effort to lure shipping lines to the alternative ports is partly bearing fruit. In December 2011, MCC Transport started weekly shipments of mostly imports and some exports for consumer giant Nestle through Batangas port.

Recently there was also a big push for Subic port with the holding of the Subic Bay Maritime Conference & Exhibit. The event drew more than 500 participants who were informed of the attractions of, programs and plans for Subic port.

Photo courtesy of Asian Terminals, Inc

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