PRESIDENT Macapagal-Arroyo has signed the new pact between the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) and International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) which extends for another 25 years ICTSI’s cargo handling contract at the Manila International Container Port (MICP).
“The PPA will reap huge benefits with the contract extension and will be able to finance the development and expansion of ports and terminals using even only the fees collected from ICTSI,” PPA general manager Atty. Oscar Sevilla said.
ICTSI’s contract with the PPA will expire in 2013 yet.
Under the extended contract, ICTSI is set to inject a substantial amount in the next four years to further enhance its grip on the increasing international containerized cargo market.
According to Sevilla, some of the conditions of the new contract include ICTSI shouldering dredging at the port, extension of the berthing area, and procurement of additional cargo handling facilities.
ICTSI also agreed to pay the PPA higher fees from what it is paying now, Sevilla said.
The bulk of PPA revenues comes from ICTSI and another cargo-handling operator, Asian Terminals, Inc.
MICP handles the bulk of cargo in and out of the country. However, for the past 14 months, the port has been experiencing a downturn.
Latest data from the Philippine Ports Authority showed MICT cargo volume dropped 3% in August compared to the figure posted a year earlier.
Despite the fall, MICT is still optimistic of reaching its growth target of 4.8% for the year as it expects cargo volumes to rise in the run-up to Christmas.
“For the first half of the year, (volumes were) flat but the figures are improving. I sure hope that we will hit our target this year,” MICT general manager Capt. Francis Andrews said in an earlier interview.
If MICT hits its target, this would be a record high for the facility. Last year, it moved 1.2 million TEUs, the same as in 2004.
MICT first hit the million-TEU mark in 2002, and has since posted record cargo volumes, except last year when the volume was flat.
ICTSI officials blame the general weakness of the economy and political instability for the less-than desirable volume performance.