The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) has disqualified North Harbor operator Manila North Harbour Port, Inc. (MNHPI) from any cost-recovery scheme petitioned by an association it belongs to, the Philippine Chamber of Arrastre and Stevedoring Operators (PCASO).
PPA assistant general manager for operations Raul Santos said the PPA Board has “already denied MNHPI any possible increase within the three-year moratorium period”, referring to a window under the 25-year North Harbor management and operation contract that disallows MNHPI from increasing rates.
MNHPI signed the contract in November 2009 but took over the facility only in April 2010.
MNHPI “will only be allowed to petition for any upward adjustment in rates not this November but by April of next year,” Santos said at the sidelines of last week’s Berth 6 inauguration at the Manila International Container Terminal.
The PCASO petition being heard at PPA “is for the rest of the PCASO members, excluding MNHPI,” Santos added.
PCASO earlier sought a nationwide 30% cost recovery increase for handling general cargo and 20% cost recovery increase for containerized cargo. The petition is on account of rising fuel cost, labor, power, manpower and other operational expenses.
MNHPI has noted that the 20% cost recovery scheme is limited to labor, utilities and equipment running incurred in the operation of North Harbor during the last two years.
“The economic situation of cargo handling operations (CHO) is also affected by constantly increasing cost of investing in personnel and skilled labor. More than the basic labor cost, CHOs like MNHPI are beset by the ever increasing demands for efficiency and safety in handling which requires skills that are not easily acquired through established institutions,” MNHPI chief operating officer Richard Barclay said in an earlier interview.
“As part of MNHPI’s concession agreement, the company is also heavily investing in equipment and information technology, much like operators of international terminals,” he added.
Photo from www.mnhport.com.ph