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Almost 3 years after TABS adoption, PPA issues rules; agency to get 20% from TABS revenue

The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) has released an order stipulating the rules for the implementation of the Terminal Appointment Booking System (TABS), almost three years after the system was enforced at Manila’s two international terminals.

TABS is an online booking system for trucks adopted at the Manila International Container Terminal (MICT) and Manila South Harbor since 2015.

PPA Administrative Order (AO) No. 06-2018, dated May 8 and published on May 23, basically mirrors the existing setup of TABS implementation, according to port operators.

The only new provision, they said, is the requirement for terminal operators to remit to PPA a 20% government share on TABS gross revenue according to the operators’ respective contracts with the ports authority.

TABS, being part of other port-related services that may be undertaken by a terminal operator, is subject to government share, according to AO 06-2018.

The 20% government share is retroactive from the start of their TABS operations.

AO 06-2018 provides guidelines to “enhance the implementation of the TABS at Manila Ports in order to maximize the efficiency in the delivery and withdrawal of cargoes.”

PPA said the new order also enhances operating guidelines and standardizes fees for TABS at the South Harbor and MICT.

AO 06-2018, which is pursuant to PPA Board Resolution No. 2678, took effect on May 24, a day after it was published. It covers the delivery and withdrawal of cargoes, including repositioning of empty containers, handled at Manila South Harbor and MICT.

Under the order, booking for the delivery and withdrawal of cargoes, including repositioning of empty containers, shall be allowed under these circumstances: receipt by the terminal operator of the Online Release System instruction from the Bureau of Customs for inbound cargoes; and submission to the terminal operator of the pre-advice notice from shipping lines for outbound cargoes.

Slot booking and classification

Booking slots shall be generally described as the period of the week from Monday to Sunday, divided into 24 slots daily and classified into four demand zones. These zones are blue slots for free booking; green slots for medium demand; red slots for high demand; and yellow slots for rebate.

At South Harbor, blue slots are every 12:00 am to 3:59 am, 11 am to 3:59 pm, and 10 pm to 11:59 pm every Monday to Friday. Green slots are every 4 am to 5:59 am, 10 am to 10:59 am, and 4 pm to 4:59 pm every Monday to Friday. Red slots are every 6 am to 9:59 am and 5 pm to 9:59 pm, while yellow slots are all hours of Sunday.

At MICT, blue and yellow slots have the same booking times as South Harbor’s. Its green slots, on the other hand, are every 4 am to 10:59 am every Monday and Saturday, and 4 am to 4:59 am and 10 am to 10:59 am every Tuesday to Friday, 4 pm to 4:59 pm from Monday to Friday, and 5 pm to 9:59 pm every Saturday. Red slots, meanwhile, are from 6 am to 9:59 am from Tuesday to Friday, and 5 pm to 9:59 pm every Monday to Friday.

PPA said it will, on its own or upon request of the terminal operator, review the applicability for the demand zones and make appropriate adjustment if necessary.

Booking slots are essentially free except for the medium and high demand zones. Booking fees are P300 per booking for the medium demand zone, and P500 per booking for the high demand zone. Rebate, which can be used to set off other booking charges, is 300 points. One point is equal to P1.

Free of charge are bookings for a double transaction, which are bookings for an export/empty drop-off and the associated import pickup.

AO 06-2018 states that slots maybe changed anytime until the actual start of the booked zone. However, the original booking charge, if any, will not be refunded.

Listed bookings will only be charged a no show penalty if nobody else avails of the booked slot from the slot pool/schedule. AO 06-2018 noted that every time a slot is listed, this slot is always the priority slot given away to users to avoid penalties in the system.

The appointed truck may also be substituted at any time prior to gate-in at the terminal.

PPA noted that rebates are given to encourage higher volume during Sundays when drop-offs and pick-ups are usually slow. This also supports the TABS objective to spread out deliveries throughout the week and eliminate peaks in traffic. Rebates, PPA noted, will be given if a booking is met on time for a rebate slot.

Rebates can be earned at South Harbor when the truck arrives within the three-hour arrival window, and at MICT, when the truck arrives within the one-hour booked slot.

Rebates are credited to the user’s account after the transaction.

Penalties and grace period

Under the rules, the truck should arrive at its appointed slot, although a grace period shall be allowed depending on the terminal. At South Harbor, the grace period for high demand is one hour before the booked slot and three hours after the booked slot. For medium demand, grace period is one hour before the booked slot and two hours after the booked slot, and one hour before and after the booked slot for free and rebate slots.

At MICT, the grace period is two hours before and two hours after the booked slot for all zones.
A truck may avoid penalty if it comes on time, that is, arriving at the terminal within the applicable allowable grace period.

PPA said that “to ensure compliance and protect the system from abuse” a truck that arrives outside of the applicable allowable grace period will incur penalty.

At South Harbor, penalties are as follows: high demand—P1,625.50 per booking for no show; medium demand—P1,625.50 per booking for out-of-zone, and P3,251 per booking for no show; free slots—P1,625.50 per booking for out-of zone, and P3,251 per booking for no show.

No show is if the truck does not show up or arrives more than three hours after the booked slot for high and medium demand zones, and after two hours for the free slot. Out-of-zone, which will incur a penalty, means the truck arrives more than two hours after the booked slot for medium demand, or more than an hour for free slots.

For MICT, a penalty of P1,625 per booking is imposed for out-of-zone and P3,251 per booking for no show. Out-of-zone in MICT is categorized as early penalty, or if the truck arrives two hours earlier than the booked slot, and late penalty, or if the truck arrives two hours after the booked slot.

No show is if the truck does not show up, or arrives more than three hours after the booked slot.

Despite the penalty incurred, South Harbor will still accept a truck that arrives within two hours of being a no show. However, all arrivals of more than two hours after incurring the no show penalty will need to be rebooked. At MICT, all trucks that arrive after incurring the no show penalty will still be serviced by the terminal operator, without the need to rebook.

To support export growth and prevent shut-outs, containerized exports going to and arriving early at the terminal will not be charged out-of-zone (early penalty).

Moreover, PPA, through its general manager, may suspend the imposition of late penalties for exceptional circumstances and/or of no show penalties due to force majeure.

AO 06-2018 also stipulates the responsibilities of parties in the implementation of TABS. The terminal operators “shall feature a level of transparency that will allow the Authority and users to view useful booking information while at the same time prevent possible avenues for manipulation and abuse of system privileges.” The terminal operator shall also remit to PPA the prescribed government share.

Customs brokers, truckers, and shipping lines, for their part, shall update the trucks’ plate numbers accordingly in bookings as this will be used in monitoring and tracking. – Roumina Pablo

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