Home » Customs & Trade » Cargo volume down 8% in Jan-Oct 2009

THE Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) registered an 8% decline in cargo volume from January to October 2009, so far the biggest dip recorded since the latter part of 2008 when the effects of the global economic crisis began to kick in.

Latest PPA data showed volume slid to 118.45 million metric tons (mmt) in the first ten months of last year from 128.63 mmt posted in the same period in 2008.

The Port of Cagayan de Oro sustained the biggest drop at about 32% to 10.18 mmt. The economic crisis as well as competition from nearby private port Mindanao Container Terminal caused the decline.

Aside from Cagayan de Oro, other ports that posted significant dips in volume were Surigao, Limay, Batangas and the North Harbor, down 3.2 mmt, 1.23 mmt, 1.66 mmt and 600,000 metric tons, respectively.

A decline in foreign and domestic cargoes for the period was also reported. Foreign cargo volume slid 10% to 61.22 mmt while domestic cargoes fell more than 5% to 57.23 mmt.

Revolving cash facility

In another development, the PPA in a recent memorandum circular instituted a revolving cash facility to facilitate cargo clearance and vessel turnaround at its ports. The facility will be made available starting April 17 to cover invoices and billing for cargo and vessel charges.

The system will also apply to domestic oil shipments loaded from private oil refineries and for unloading to private oil depots nationwide.

The centralized payment system for all shipments and transactions in PPA ports is designed to avoid penalties for late filing of documents, considering all transactions at the ports are still done manually.

“Port users availing of the revolving fund (RF) facility shall be required to maintain with PPA a minimum cash deposit equivalent to (their) average 15-day transaction volume,” PPA said in its memo.

“Their RF account shall be replenished every week to ensure their transactions are adequately covered by the RF deposit balance,” it added.

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