Home » Maritime » Sea, Air Port Fees to Be Rationalized

THE Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) will undertake tariff reforms, including the rationalization of airport and seaport fees and other charges, to help the national government balance the budget.

This is one of the strategies recently outlined by the DOTC to support the new administration’s 10-point agenda. The others are the opening of additional international gateways; increasing capacity of international airports and further developing trunkline and other domestic airports; pushing for liberalization and making the Philippines accessible to the rest of the world without compromising the national interest; modernizing land and sea transport linkages and facilities through public and private partnerships; and ensuring full compliance with all international air and maritime safety and security agreements.

“The DOTC will adopt the principle of gradual full-cost recovery through the ‘users pay’ concept, thereby limiting subsidy to the maintenance and operations of rail, airport, and seaport facilities,” Transport Secretary Leandro Mendoza said.

The department also envisions a 30% increase in gross revenues by the end of 2005 to be achieved through efficient collection by line agencies such as the Land Transportation Office, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, Manila International Airport Authority, Philippine Ports Authority, Cebu Ports Authority, Air Tranportation Office, Light Rail Transit Authority and Mass Railway Transit Authority.

Mendoza stressed this measure is on top of the 10% reduction in administrative and operating expenses recently ordered for all DOTC officials and agency heads.

The DOTC has also lined up several policy reform measures such as the creation of a Civil Aviation Authority and the Philippine Rail Authority, which would allow for the separation of regulatory and operation functions. This will eventually lead to the privatization of airport operations, Mendoza said, adding it will open the door to a certain level of financial autonomy to source funds for airport development and operations other than from the national budget.

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