ATI seeks 16.55% hike in Batangas port cargo-handling tariff

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Batangas port. File photo from Asian Terminals Inc.
  • Port operator Asian Terminals Inc. and its unit, Asian Terminals Inc.-Batangas, are proposing a 16.55% upward adjustment in the cargo-handling tariff at the Batangas port
  • The petition covers Batangas Port Phases 1 and 2
  • ATI said the effect of the proposed rate adjustment on basic commodities and dominant cargoes at Batangas port will be less than 1%
  • Stakeholders have until May 29 to submit their position papers to ATI and the Philippine Ports Authority Port Management Office of Batangas

Port operator Asian Terminals Inc. (ATI) and its unit, Asian Terminals Inc.-Batangas (ATIB), are seeking a 16.55% upward adjustment in the cargo-handling tariff at the Batangas port.

ATI on March 26, 2024 filed a petition, which was found eligible by the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), for the increase in cargo-handling tariff and other cargo-handling related and miscellaneous charges covering Batangas Port Phases 1 and 2, the port operator said in a presentation during a public hearing on its proposal on May 22.

Phase 1 handles passenger, roll-on/roll-off, and bulk cargoes, while Phase 2, called the Batangas Container Terminal, serves international containerized cargoes.

The last tariff increase of Batangas port Phases 1 and 2 was in 2022, when PPA approved a 10% upward adjustment.

The petition is pursuant to PPA Administrative Order (AO) No. 02-2018, which prescribes a standard and uniform formula and procedures for cargo-handling tariff adjustment.

Under AO 02-2018, which took effect in March 2018, the cargo-handling/terminal operator may apply for a cargo-handling tariff adjustment if the consumer price index (CPI) has increased by at least 5% within a three-year period.

CPI, computed and provided by the Philippine Statistics Authority, is a statistical measure of the average retail pricing of goods and services commonly purchased by a particular group of people in a particular area.

ATI in its presentation said CPI has been following an upward trend since 2020, with inflation breaching the 5% mark in 2022 and 2023.

For the past three years, ATI said it has also fulfilled its commitment to continuously develop the Batangas port, with its capital investment (capex) hitting P1.3 billion from 2021 to 2023. For Phase 1, substantial investment was made in the expansion and modernization of the passenger terminal building, which was inaugurated last April.

Investments in Phase 2, meanwhile, were centered on information technology projects, such as the automated gate system, to enhance the efficiency of operations in the terminal.

For 2024 to 2026, ATI plans a capex of P3.45 billion for projects on asset protection and passenger safety and security.

The proposed upward adjustment in Phase 1 will result in the following:

Vessel charges (stevedoring) for domestic containerized

  • For both 20-footer and 40-footer, laden or empty – P403 from the current P346

Cargo charges (arrastre) for domestic containerized

  • 20-footer laden – P1,332 from the current P1,143
  • 20-footer empty – P531 from the current P456
  • 40-footer laden – P2,663 from the current P2,285
  • 40-footer empty – P1,066 from the current P915

Vessel charges (stevedoring) for non-containerized international cargo

  • Steel products non-palletized – P97.26 from the current P83.45
  • Steel products palletized – P69.81 from the current P59.90
  • General cargo non-palletized – P85.20 from the current P73.10
  • General cargo palletized – P60.49 from the current P51.90

Miscellaneous

  • Truck weighing, non-containerized – P160.84 per truck from the current P138

The proposed rate adjustment for Phase 2 will result in the following:

Vessel charges (stevedoring) containerized

  • 20-footer laden – P4,980.82 from the current P4,273.50
  • 20-footer empty – P4,186.53 from the current P3,592
  • 40-footer laden – P6,966.28 from the current P5,977
  • 40-footer empty – P5,392.83 from the current P4,627

Cargo charges (arrastre) containerized

  • 20-footer import – P4,528.60 from the current P3,885.50
  • 20-footer export – P3,697.59 from the current P3,172.50
  • 40-footer import – P10,391.14 from the current P8,915.50
  • 40-footer export – P8,492.52 from the current P7,286.50

Miscellaneous charges

  • Weighing (import) – P160.84 per truck from the current P138
  • Weighing (export) – P116.55 per truck from the current P100
  • Replace container seal – P233.10 per seal from the current P200

ATI said based on their computation, the effect of the proposed rate adjustment on basic commodities and dominant cargoes at Batangas port will be less than 1%.

For example, in Phase 1, a 20-footer domestic container may contain 18,000 kilograms (kg) or 18 metric tons of rice, sugar, onions, or garlic.

Based on this, and computed with the proposed arrastre and stevedoring rates, ATI said the impact of the proposed tariff on the average retail price of rice will only be 0.03%. For onions and sugar its impact will only be 0.02%, and 0.03% for flour, and 0.00% per kg for garlic.

For reinforced bars, the proposed tariff’s impact will be at 0.06%.

For Phase 2, a 20-foot container may container 20,000 kg or 20 metric tons of rice, sugar, onion, or garlic.

The impact of the proposed tariff on the average retail price will be 0.12% for rice, 0.07% for onions, 0.04% for garlic, 0.08% for sugar, and 0.16% for flour.

For reinforced bars, the proposed tariff will have an impact of 0.32%. For a unit of compact sedan, the proposed tariff will result in a 0.06% adjustment.

Stakeholders have until May 29 to submit their position papers to ATI and the PPA Port Management Office of Batangas. ATI will respond to the position papers within three working days or until June 3. – Roumina Pablo