The Anti-Red Tape Authority recommended extending the moratorium on a Philippine Ports Authority policy requiring a permit to operate for truckers
The policy, PPA Memorandum Circular 19-2021, should also be subjected to a regulatory impact assessment to identify its benefits and costs to stakeholders, according to ARTA
Stakeholders, particularly truckers, have raised issues over implementation of the MC and PPA Administrative Order No. 06-2019
The Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) “strongly recommends” extending the moratorium on a Philippine Ports Authority’s (PPA) policy requiring a permit to operate (PTO) for truckers pending the policy’s review.
ARTA, in a letter to PPA general manager Jay Daniel Santiago dated November 11, also recommends subjecting the policy, PPA Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 19-2021, to a regulatory impact assessment (RIA) to identify its benefits and costs to stakeholders.
The letter was issued after stakeholders, particularly truckers, raised issues over the implementation of MC 19-2021 and PPA Administrative Order (AO) No. 06-2019.
Dated October 13, PPA MC 19-2021 ordered a moratorium until October 31, 2021 on the requirement for trucking companies to secure PTO. The PTO is required under PPA AO 09-2020, which provides revised guidelines on the issuance of PTO for the provision of ancillary services in PPA ports.
Providers of ancillary services, such as trucking, freight forwarding, shipping agent, bunkering, laundering, and lighterage/barging, need to secure a Certificate of Accreditation (CA) and a PTO from PPA to render services at the ports.
But when AO 09-2020 took effect, its implementation did not initially include truckers, prompting PPA to later impose a deadline of October 15 for the sector’s compliance, then extending this to October 31 through MC 19-2021.
When the moratorium ended on October 31, truckers that did not have a PTO or had not applied and paid for one were barred from entering Manila port terminals beginning November 1, causing delays and truck queueing.
Trucking groups Alliance of Concerned Truck Owners and Organizations (ACTOO), Confederation of Truckers Association of the Philippines, and Inland Haulers and Truckers Association (INHTA) earlier said they would request for a moratorium on the policy implementation, claiming majority of their members still did not have a PTO.
ACTOO also refuted a PPA statement saying some truckers refused to comply with the requirement to secure permits, noting they had committed during a virtual meeting with PPA chief Santiago to facilitate the rollout of the policy “as soon as loose ends are tied and all details are ironed out.”
The group clarified that truckers were not against registration per se since they have been securing PTOs even before, but that they were questioning the duplicity of the requirement for CA on top of the PTO.
PPA AO 06-2019, issued in 2019, requires all port service providers to secure a CA from PPA before the award of port services contract or PTO is issued.
Truckers, however, have been asking PPA to exempt them from such accreditation, arguing the requirement is redundant and burdensome as they are already required to secure a PTO and comply with accreditation rules of other government agencies such as the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board and Land Transportation Office.
INHTA president Teodorico Gervacio also earlier said some members who tried to apply for PTO online through PPA’s system had a difficult time connecting despite repeated tries, and ended up not applying at all.
In a related development, PPA recently issued AO 06-2021, which reduced requirements for applying for a CA and provides new validity periods for PTO. Moreover, AO 06-2021, which took effect on November 7, provides a discount on the processing fee for PTOs until December 31, 2021.
By January 1, 2022, the processing fee will revert to P10,500 under AO 09-2020. The processing fee for CA application remains at P3,000. – Roumina Pablo