The Philippine Shippers’ Bureau (PSB) is holding consultations on a Philippine International Seafreight Forwarders Association (PISFA) proposal for automatic PISFA membership of PSB-accredited forwarders.
“We are going through the process of consultation,” PSB officer-in-charge Atty Victor Dimagiba told PortCalls in a text message.
The association earlier sent Dimagiba a letter, which said the automatic membership would help professionalize and police the freight forwarding profession.
If the proposal pushes through, it will be similar to what has long been in place for air freight forwarders which, when accredited by the Civil Aeronautics Board, automatically become members of the national airfreight organization, Aircargo Forwarders of the Philippines.
PISFA members comprise 121 companies. The association is targeting a 15% increase in membership until 2016.
As of February, PSB had accredited a total of 605 freight forwarders comprising international and domestic freight forwarders, non-vessel operating common carriers, and break bulk agents.
At a recent general membership meeting, PISFA vice-president for external affairs Erich Lingad announced that part of PISFA’s discussions with Dimagiba included “updating the forwarders’ charges and PISFA’s multimodal transport operation and logistics trade program which will be a part of their (PSB) requirements when applying for accreditation.”
In addition, Lingad said PISFA is working with the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) to transfer the accreditation function of forwarders from the PSB to the Maritime Industry Authority, an attached agency of the DOTC.
Lingad said they are waiting for a draft executive order to be submitted to the Office of the President.
Dimagiba confirmed an ongoing rationalization plan at the Department of Trade and Industry, the mother agency of PSB, whose current functions would ultimately be taken over by the Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau under the Consumer Protection Group. The latter is also headed by Dimagiba.
The PSB chief said the rationalization plan requires personnel and that DTI is just waiting to “get the DBM (Department of Budget Management) notices to hire new plantilla positions.” –– Roumina M. Pablo
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