Home » Ports/Terminals » North Harbor operator waives controversial fee

But challenges shipping lines to cut rates by 10%

NEW North Harbor operator Manila North Harbor Port Inc (MNHPI) has agreed o waive the application of a controversial fee under its 25-year contract to operate and manage the North Harbor.

In a press conference on Tuesday, MNHPI chief executive Michael Romero promised not to apply the 5% concession fee on ancillary services such as bunkering — opposed by so many sectors in the shipping industry — unless value-added services are rendered by MNHPI.

But he is quick to point out that the deletion of the fee from the North Harbor contract, which is being pushed by the Philippine Liner Shipping Association (PLSA) and the Supply Chain Management Association of the Philippines among other associations, will still go through a legal review.

The PLSA, whose members are the main users of the port, claims the 5% concession fee will only increase costs.

“We have reiterated time again with the PLSA that no port concession fee has ever been levied by MNHPI. It does not intend to do so until the major infrastructure are in place,” Romero said.

Dare to cut costs

In the meantime, Romero challenged shipping lines and shippers to pass on lower port tariff they now enjoy at the North Harbor to their customers. He said the lines can afford to cut their cost by 10%.

“Major tariff reduction already impacts on the public,” Romero said, noting that port tariffs at the North Harbor have been lower since January 15, more than two months even before MNHPI took over the port.

“Lower shipping tariffs can be reflected through reduced cost of inter-island passenger tickets and cargo rates. They (shipping lines) should be doing that now to cascade the advantage they enjoy,” Romero said.

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