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Domestic ships calling Cebu exempt from berthing/anchorage fees until Dec 19

  • The Cebu Port Authority (CPA) is waiving the collection of berthing/anchorage fees from domestic shipping vessels calling Cebu ports until December 19, 2020
  • Fees collected from October 31 until December 19 will not be refunded but serve as advance payment for domestic shipping lines’ berthing/anchorage fee, to be applied from December 20
  • Ports under CPA include the Cebu baseport composed of the Cebu International Port and the Baseport-Domestic Zone, and the five subports of Mandaue, Danao, Sta. Fe, Toledo and Argao

The Cebu Port Authority (CPA) is waiving the collection of berthing/anchorage fees from domestic shipping vessels calling Cebu ports from October 31 to December 19, 2020 to lend support to the local shipping industry.

The waiving of the fees is part of assistance to domestic vessels under Republic Act (RA) No. 11494, also known as the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act or Bayanihan 2, according to CPA Office of the General Manager (OGM) Memo No. 08, dated November 27 and effective on the same date.

The Department of Transportation (DOTr), CPA’s mother agency, has budgeted P37.63 million to cover the assistance, CPA general manager Leonilo Miole told PortCalls in a text message.

The P37.63 million is part of the P9.5-billion standby fund allocated to DOTr under Bayanihan 2. Of the P9.5-billion, P2.6 billion will be used to assist critically impacted businesses in the transportation industry.

Under OGM Memo 08, all CPA port management officers were directed to refrain from collecting berthing/anchorage fees directly from domestic vessels until December 19.

In addition, port managers were instructed to report the berthing/anchorage fees collected from October 31 until the date CPA finally implemented the assistance.

The fees collection on these dates will not be refunded but will instead serve as advance payment/deposit of domestic shipping lines for their berthing/anchorage fee and will be applied starting December 20 until the advance payment is fully consumed.

Ports under CPA include the Cebu baseport composed of the Cebu International Port and the Baseport-Domestic Zone, and the five subports of Mandaue, Danao, Sta. Fe, Toledo and Argao.

RELATED: Cebu port defers for a year hike in cargo-handling fees

Aside from CPA, the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) is waiving the collection of dockage and lay-up fees from domestic ships using its ports from December 1 to December 19.

READ: PH shipowners to enjoy waived port fees from Dec 1

PPA is utilizing P250 million from DOTr’s standby fund for this assistance.

Bayanihan 2, signed on September 11 and in effect until December 19, 2020, seeks to fast-track Philippine recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic fallout. The new law effectively extends the validity of the government’s COVID-19 programs and interventions under RA 11469, or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, whose validity lapsed last June.

Under RA 11494 or Bayanihan 2, DOTr and other authorized agencies are directed to assist critically impacted businesses in the transportation industry, including transport cooperatives.

This assistance includes providing grants for applicable regulatory fees for a period of not more than six months.

Domestic carrier organization Philippine Liner Shipping Association (PLSA) last April requested government assistance from DOTr and Department of Finance, saying their operations have been significantly impacted by lower cargo volumes as a result of restrictions imposed since mid-March to mitigate the effects of the pandemic.

READ: Domestic shipping sector fears collapse; cargo volumes down 50%, revenues by 80%

Cargo volume handled by domestic shipping lines has fallen to below 50% while revenues are down by as much as 80%, as over 60% of PLSA’s clients and the country’s consumption were affected by the implementation of the pandemic-related quarantines, PLSA earlier said.

Philippine Inter-Island Shipping Association, of which PLSA is a member, also wrote to DOTr asking government to waive port charges for ships and suspend the two-day storage period for domestic cargoes as their operations have been undermined by restrictions brought on by the community quarantines. – Roumina Pablo

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