THE Philippine Economic Zone Authority has extended for another year its 50% discount on processing fees for economic zone import and export shipments via the Batangas International Port (BIP) to encourage investors and promote the South Luzon port.
PEZA first offered the incentive for the period Dec. 10, 2011 to June 10, 2012, under Memorandum Circular No. 2011-035, in support of the start of weekly calls at BIP by MCC Transport, the intra-Asian feeder unit of Maersk Line.
Two days before the incentive expired, PEZA issued another memo, MC No. 12-18, which extended the discount for another six months until December 2012.
PEZA Board Resolution No. 13-296 again extended the discount from April to December 2013.
The National Competitiveness Council, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Joint Chambers of Commerce, among other groups, are recommending the diversion of seaborne cargoes to the underutilized Batangas or Subic ports to decongest Manila’s streets.
A study by JICA said utilization of the Batangas port is only at 4.2%.
Andrew Hoad, executive vice president of Batangas port operator Asian Terminals Inc., told PortCalls in an interview last year the hinterlands north of the port are generating 300,000 to 400,000 twenty-foot equivalent units of cargo but the port handles only 12,000 TEUs annually.
A feasibility study costing P16.27 million to chart a strategic utilization of the Batangas port was approved by the Philippine Ports Authority last year.