Home » Customs & Trade » PPA eyes mandatory use of Batangas port by PEZA Calabarzon locators

THE Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) is teaming up with the Bureau of Customs (BOC) in a bid to place Batangas Port in the international container industry radar.

As part of its marketing efforts, the team is looking at negotiating with the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) for the mandatory use of the port among its Calabarzon locators.

“We will really push for the full utilization of the port particularly now that the needed cargo-handling facilities are in place,” PPA general manager Atty. Oscar Sevilla told PortCalls.

“Hopefully, once we get the nod of (PEZA) locators, we will be able to lure back APL (American President Lines) and other international carriers to have direct calls in Batangas,” Sevilla said.

APL dropped Batangas from its ports of call a few years ago due to low cargo volume and inadequate cargo-handling facilities.

Now, Batangas port handles predominantly car shipments. Vessel calls are down to once every two weeks.

Last month, additional cargo-handling equipment were installed, including two quay cranes, four rubber-tired gantries and a patrol boat. In addition, the BOC has installed two non-intrusive scanners.

Electronic transactions will also begin in the first quarter.

Meanwhile, Asian Terminals, Inc’s special permit to operate Batangas port has been extended with the PPA expecting a long legal battle involving its expropriation case with Batangas land owners.

ATI is the remaining eligible bidder for the port’s 25-year management and operation contract after International Container Terminal Services, Inc said it would much rather concentrate on its Bauang operations.

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