DOTr recommendation on container monitoring system out this month

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DOTr recommendation on container monitoring system out this month
Image by Thomas G. from Pixabay
  • The Department of Transportation will submit this month its final recommendation on the Philippine Ports Authority policy on container registry and monitoring system
  • Transport Secretary Jaime Bautista said implementation of the system remains deferred until submission of the recommendation to the Office of the President

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) will submit to the Office of the President this month its final recommendation on the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) policy on container registry and monitoring system.

This was revealed by Transport Secretary Jaime Bautista during a recent hearing on DOTr’s proposed 2024 budget by the Senate Committee on Finance.

“It’s still being studied… but there is already a report from ARTA that it may not be the best solution to the problem,” Bautista said.

The Anti-Red Tape Authority earlier recommended to PPA the exploration of “cost-effective alternatives” to the Trusted Operator Program-Container Registry Monitoring System (TOP-CRMS) to address potential congestion without burdening stakeholders.

In its re-evaluation of PPA’s regulatory impact statement on the measure, ARTA said there is “no sound legal and empirical basis to establish the need for the new regulation”.

ARTA added fees associated with the implementation of the TOP-CRMS will entail additional costs to stakeholders.

Bautista said implementation of PPA Administrative Order (AO) No. 04-2021 is still deferred until they make the final recommendation to the President. PPA is an attached agency of the DOTr, with the transport secretary as chairman of the PPA Board.

AO 04-2021 prescribes the policy on the registration and monitoring of foreign containers entering and leaving PPA ports. It requires foreign containers to register in the TOP-CRMS, an electronic system to monitor and to secure a container insurance policy.

PPA earlier said TOP-CRMS will address the long-standing issue on return of container deposits imposed by foreign shipping lines, and manage the return of foreign empty containers.

Implementation of TOP-CRMS has been deferred indefinitely by the PPA Board since January amid calls from various stakeholder groups to scrap the program.

Seventeen stakeholders and business organizations earlier called on President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. to intervene and immediately scrap AO 04-2021 and TOP-CRMS, which they said “threatens to cripple the transport and logistics industries and the national economy as a whole.”

Twenty-four business groups in July also reiterated calls to scrap the system.