Home » Breaking News, Ports/Terminals » Philippine lines push cashless payment at ports

PHILIPPINE shipping lines want cashless transactions in the payment of arrastre and stevedoring fees, saying this will cut transaction time as well as minimize corruption.

An auto-debit system for arrastre and stevedoring fees and transit and storage fees is up for discussion at this week’s Philippine Liner Shipping Association (PLSA) board meeting.

A PortCalls source said the meeting will take a look at transaction costs and banks that could be used for the project.

Plans call for initial implementation of the cashless system at North Port in Manila before rollout to other key ports.

“We should gear toward paperless and cashless transactions just like what has been imposed in the international trade,” the source, a PLSA official, said.

“Operations will be more efficient and faster unlike now where voluminous documents are needed for each cargo (and there’s a) long queuing time in the payment of cargo-handling fees,” the official explained.

The plan, he said, could be implemented in ports up for privatization by the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA).

PLSA is pushing PPA to auction six of the country’s 10 remaining PPA-controlled major ports — Cagayan de Oro, Davao, Zamboanga, Iloilo, Ozamiz and General Santos (all south of Manila) — simultaneously instead of one at a time. This ensures the kind of cargo-handling equipment in each port is not too different from the rest.

PPA earlier announced it would auction off one port a year until 2016 starting with the Port of Davao in 2012.

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