Home » Ports/Terminals » DTI joins call to do away with North Harbor concession fee

INSTEAD of the controversial concession fee on ancillary charges, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) wants the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) to implement a permit to operate fee under the North Harbor contract.

The current North Harbor contract allows operator Manila North Harbour Port, Inc to impose a 5% concession fee on ancillary services, including bunkering, rendered by third-party service providers at the port.

“To impose a 5% concession fee on bunkering services alone could trigger higher cargo freight rates and passenger fares for vessels using the North Harbor,” DTI undersecretary Zenaida Maglaya said in a letter to PPA general manager Atty Oscar Sevilla.

Bunkering costs, according to the Philippine Liner Shipping Association (PLSA), constitute 30-40% of shipping lines’ overhead expense.

“We share the concern of the PLSA regarding the impact to shippers, consumers and the general public which might result from such provision,” Maglaya said.

She added, “We are also concerned that the imposition of the said concession fee may put North Harbor port users at an undue disadvantage inasmuch as said fee is not being charged in all other ports in the country.”

The PLSA earlier requested DTI and the Department of Transportation and Communications to ask PPA to delete the concession fee provision, saying this is a pass-on cost that will be shouldered by the public.

PPA, on the other hand, said there are enough safety nets to guarantee the fee will not be exploited. It added the rate imposition is still subject to PPA approval.

The port turnover to Manila North Harbour has been deferred several times over. PPA claims the operator is not ready with the required minimum cargo handling equipment.

The takeover was originally scheduled on January 1, 2010 but was rescheduled twice-on January 15, 2010 and on February 15. Before February 15 though, PPA shelved the turnover indefinitely.


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