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PPA: No extension on moratorium of trucks’ permit to operate requirement

  • The Philippine Ports Authority will not suspend, or extend a moratorium on, the implementation of its requirement for a permit to operate for trucks
  • PPA said “there is no advantage that can be had with a moratorium” and noted enough time and extension has already been given to truckers
  • The trucking “rest day” was officially lifted on November 25

The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) said it will not extend the moratorium on the implementation of its requirement for a permit to operate (PTO) for trucks.

In a statement read during a virtual meeting called by the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) on November 25, PPA said it will not suspend implementation of, or extend the moratorium on, the issuance of the “decades-old” PTO as the agency has already “streamlined its regulations.”

PPA said “there is no advantage that can be had with a moratorium” and noted that enough time and extension has already been given to truckers.

“Compliance is the only solution,” the port authority pointed out.

Trucking groups have been requesting PPA to extend the moratorium on the implementation of PPA Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 19-2021 to give truckers more time to secure a PTO and iron out other issues such as the duplicity of the requirement for a Certificate of Accreditation (CA) on top of the PTO, and the online registration for the Manila International Container Terminal Pass.

Dated October 13, MC 19-2021 provided a moratorium until October 31, 2021 for trucking companies to secure a PTO as required under PPA Administrative Order (AO) No. 09-2020. The AO, issued in 2020, provides revised guidelines on the issuance of PTO for the provision of ancillary services in PPA ports.

READ: PPA requirement for permit to operate on hold for truckers

Providers of ancillary services, such as, among others, trucking, freight forwarding, shipping agent, bunkering, laundering, and lighterage/barging, must secure a CA and a PTO from PPA to be able to render services at the ports.

AO 09-2020 was, however, not implemented among truckers when it took effect, prompting PPA to impose a deadline of October 15 for them to comply, and to later extend the deadline to October 31 through MC 19-2021.

When the moratorium ended on October 31, truckers that had no PTO or had not applied and paid for one were barred from entering Manila port terminals starting November 1.

The Alliance of Concerned Truck Owners and Organizations (ACTOO), Confederation of Truckers Association of the Philippines (CTAP), and Inland Haulers and Truckers Association (INHTA) requested for a moratorium, saying majority of their members still did not have a PTO.

ARTA on November 11 also wrote to PPA general manager Jay Daniel Santiago to “strongly recommend” a moratorium pending the policy’s review and evaluation.

To highlight the truckers’ plea, ACTOO last November 18 and 19 held protest actions but suspended them on November 20 after PPA stated during a November 19 meeting with ARTA and several stakeholders that it would finally issue a response to ARTA’s November 11 letter to Santiago.

CTAP and INHTA from November 22 to 25 also held a trucking “rest day” and encouraged members not to transact with Manila ports. Caravans were also held on November 23 and 25.

READ: Truckers’ groups slam permit to operate requirement

Late in the afternoon of November 25, CTAP announced the trucking rest day was “officially lifted” effective immediately.

PortCalls has asked the trucking groups for comments on PPA’s decision and is awaiting response as of press time.

ACTOO earlier refuted a PPA statement claiming that some truckers refused to comply with the requirement to secure permits, saying they had committed during a virtual meeting with Santiago to facilitate the roll-out of the policy “as soon as loose ends are tied and all details are ironed out.”

The group also clarified that truckers were not against registration per se since they have long been securing PTO, but were questioning the duplicity of the requirement for a CA on top of the PTO.

PPA AO 06-2019, issued in 2019, requires all port service providers to secure a CA from PPA before the award of port services contract or PTO is issued. A PTO, meanwhile, is required on a per port basis.

Truckers have since been asking PPA to exempt them from needing accreditation, saying the requirement is redundant and burdensome as they are required to secure a PTO and comply with the accreditation rules of other government agencies such as the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board and the Land Transportation Office. – Roumina Pablo

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