Home » Ports/Terminals » Extension of wharfage fee reduction now in limbo

THE Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) has decided to defer extending the implementation of a 90% cut in wharfage fee for 2008.

PPA said it is consulting with transport department officials on the effects of the reduced rate on shippers and on PPA revenue generation before making a decision.

“The PPA is still reviewing the possibility of extending the implementation of the reduction of wharfage dues on containerized cargoes despite the fact that the said reduction would do little for exporters as the (overall high transport cost) problem (has) other causes beyond PPA’s mandate,” PPA general manager Atty. Oscar Sevilla said.

The PPA claims that port charges it levies, including the wharfage fee, do not even exceed 5% of the total transport cost. Most items listed under port charges, it said, are actually non-port charges and refer to those collected by shipping lines, terminal operators, and other transport components.

For now, exporters will pay the original wharfage fee of P259.70 and P391.05 for a 20- and 40-footer cargo from the reduced rate of P20 and P40, respectively.

The deferment is a big setback for exporters hard hit by the strong and fast appreciation of the Philippine currency.

The Federation of Philippine Industries and Philippine Exporters Confederation said the wharfage fee cut would help cushion the effects of a strong peso on the export business.

The peso was Asia’s best-performing currency for 2007, appreciating about 19%.

The peso is expected to appreciate even more this year, on the back of strong remittances from overseas Filipino workers.

Earlier, PPA said it would extend the implementation of the reduced fee but not for the entire 2008. It was looking at implementing the policy on a per quarter basis to give PPA time to evaluate if more extensions are warranted.

Based on PPA records, exporters saved P27 million in the first six months of the implementation of the reduced wharfage fee.

Since April last year, PPA has lost approximately P100 million in revenues due to the policy.

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