PPA launches e-payment portal for port charges

Screenshot of the EPP website
Screenshot of the EPP website

The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) has introduced its electronic payment portal (EPP) to digitize collection of port charges and reduce face-to-face transactions amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

The EPP hosts all payment systems of ports under PPA control and connects to a number of government and commercial banks as well as non-bank institutions to provide a variety of online payment modes such as payment centers, credit cards, and debit cards, PPA said in a statement.

The EPP will be the central portal for payment of port transactions and is linked to cargo-handling operators’ online systems. It will initially be available for Manila and Batangas ports transactions and eventually rolled out to other ports nationwide.

The system is integrated with PPA’s legacy application as well as its online systems such as the Electronic Accreditation System, Electronic Permit Management System, and Internet-based Port Operations and Receipting for Terminals System.

The portal may be accessed at http://epaymentportal.ppa.com.ph.

PPA has inked a memorandum of agreement with the Land Bank of the Philippines to host interconnection of different banks for the e-payment portal. Participating banks, mostly from the Bancnet umbrella, include Robinson’s Bank, UnionBank, Rizal Commercial Banking Corp., Asia United Bank, BPI Direct BanKo, CTBC Bank, Citystate Savings Bank, Development Bank of the Philippines, Enterprise Bank, Entrepreneur Bank, Equicom Savings Bank, Luzon Development Bank, MASS SPECC, Malayan Bank, Overseas Filipino Bank, PBCom, Philippine Business Bank, Philippine Veterans Bank, Philtrust Bank, Sterling Bank of Asia, Sun Savings Bank, and Wealth Bank.

Designed and developed by in-house technology and online platform experts, the EPP is an upgrade of the port authority system implemented since 2018.

PPA general manager Atty. Jay Daniel Santiago said the EPP is continuously being improved but its completion and implementation was fast tracked due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are really keen on automating our collection of port charges to reduce face-to-face transaction, thus, boosting the integrity of our process,” Santiago said. “This scheme now allows payment of transactions anytime and anywhere electronically.”

PPA said all port users can access the EPP using their access credentials as required by the agency.

Aside from the EPP, PPA is in the process of completing its automated passenger ticketing system. When implemented, the system will centralize booking and payment of passenger tickets, preventing overbooking and overloading resulting in safer sea travel.