THE Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) has increased port tariff and domestic wharfage fees effective this year as a safety net to the expected backlash of the global economic crunch.
The increase is the last in a series of rescheduled rate hikes authorized by President Arroyo in 2007, 2008 and 2009, after a freeze order on all increases was instituted in 2003, 2004 and 2005.
A memorandum issued by PPA assistant general manager Leopoldo Bungubung late last month jacked up domestic port charges by 14% and domestic wharfage fees by 28%.
The amount is on top of increases already allowed by PPA on cargo-handling rates in different ports nationwide.
Under the order, the domestic port charge is increased by P10 to P82 per vessel per calendar day or a fraction thereof for the use of any government port for vessels with 6 to 100 gross registered ton (GRT) while those with over 100 GRT will have to pay P0.80 per GRT per calendar day or a fraction thereof.
Domestic vessels calling at officially registered private ports shall be charged half the domestic dockage fee at a government port.
The memo also covered registered bay and river vessels that will be charged one-half of the required domestic dockage fee but in no case less than P82 or more than P143 for a calendar day or a fraction thereof.
The lay-up fee for domestic vessels will be half of the applicable domestic dockage fee.
The domestic wharfage fee for non-containerized cargoes like those in sacks, bags, bulk, uncrated, live animals, steel products, logs and lumber, and heavy lift is now P9 per metric ton. Others not on that list will be charged P7 or 16% higher than the existing rate.
For containerized cargo, the rates have risen 20-21%. For a 10-footer or shorter, the new fee is P63; for a 20-footer, P126; 35-footer, P157; 40-footer, P189; and 45-footer, P221.
Domestic cargoes, whether containerized or not, loaded/discharged at anchor without using any government wharf or at officially registered private ports shall be charged one-half of the usual domestic wharfage fee.