Home » Maritime, Ports/Terminals » PPA forms special takeover units to handle operations at 8 ports

The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) has created port services units that will take over operations and cargo-handling at eight ports in the country once the contracts of the ports’ private cargo-handling operators expire.

PPA general manager Atty. Jay Daniel Santiago signed PPA Memorandum Orders (PMO) 11, 13, 17, 18, 20, 21, 22, and 23-2018 from August to October, creating port services units at the ports of Bato, Danao, Galas, Guinsiliban, Tabaco, Sindangan, Talibon, and Getafe.

In creating the port services units, the PMOs said PPA is exercising its inherent function to directly provide and operate cargo-handling and other related services as prescribed under Presidential Decree No. 857, or the revised charter of PPA, as amended.

Specifically, the PMOs created the Bato Port Services, Danao Port Services, Galas Port Services, Guinsilaban Port Services, Tabaco Port Services, Sindangan Port Services, Talibon Port Services, and Getafe Port Services.

Effective immediately, the PMOs shall remain in force unless revoked or shortened. However, when such special takeover unit is no longer needed, the cargo-handling operations shall be turned over to the winner of the public bidding to be conducted by PPA for the cargo-handling services of these ports.

Under the PMOs, the port services units shall “provide and operate arrastre, stevedoring and related services” at their respective ports, “with powers, functions and duties as are or may be necessary” to enable them to carry out their purposes.

The port services units shall ensure the continuous and uninterrupted delivery of vital cargo-handling and other related services “in a more efficient manner,” the PMOs further declare.

The units may also utilize the labor force of the incumbent cargo-handling operator under the same terms and conditions prevailing at the time of the effectivity of the PMOs, and shall observe all labor laws, rules, and regulations.

Other functions of the port services units include collecting existing rates and amounts and other charges for actual services rendered, and disbursing funds to finance operational expenses according to the systems prescribed by PPA. They are also tasked with conducting inventories of the following: cargoes received and still in the custody of the operator as of takeover date; cargo handling equipment, gear, tools, and other properties of the operator; cargo records and claims; unused forms and supplies which can be used for the takeover; and office and field personnel.

The management, supervision, and control of the port services units shall be under the port manager of their respective Port Management Offices, to be complemented by PPA officials and employees as may be designated by the PPA general manager or assistant general manager for operations.

PPA has recently issued the guidelines for selecting and awarding contracts under its Port Terminal Management Regulatory Framework (PTMRF), which outlines the new rules for terminal management contracts.

PTMRF, under PPA Administrative Order O 03-2016 ]?[, has among its objectives to provide higher quality port service by promoting private sector participation. Under this framework, investments in ports are to be categorized into six tiers, ranging from a fully private concession to a fully PPA-managed port, to make it easier to determine the investment arrangements of a port.

Earlier, PPA assistant general manager Hector Miole said PPA wanted to start implementing the new guidelines for awarding terminal contracts before the year ended to improve efficiencies in port operations. – Roumina Pablo

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