THE Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) has exempted all cargoes passing through the nautical highways from the 15% across-the-board interim increase in arrastre and stevedoring services for domestic cargoes that took effect last November 8, 2005. PPA general manager Atty. Oscar Sevilla said the increase does not include the roll on-roll off (ro-ro) tariff rates used in the Strong Republic Nautical Highway (SRNH) ferry ports. "This is to ensure that the operation and realization of the SRNH would continue and thereby bolster inter-island trade and promote tourism," Sevilla said. Vehicles loaded as full ro-ro units such as the motorcycles, tricycles, scooter, cars, minivans, SUVs, AUVs, owner jeeps, public utility jeepneys (up to 16 pax), light delivery vans, pick-up trucks, PUJs (more than 16 pax), stake trucks, heavy delivery trucks, passenger/tourist buses, prime movers/tractor heads (with or without trailer/chassis) using the SRNH are exempt from the increase. The 15% increase, however, applies to other modes of handling rolling cargoes such as CHA-RO (chassis or trailers, empty or loaded with cargo), whether breakbulk, unitized, palletized or in containers, towed or wheeled into or out of the ro-ro vessel by means of prime mover, tractor or tow motor, without cargo rehandling, shifting, or grounding on vessel and where no other cargo handling is rendered except lashing or unslashing. Also included in the increase is the STO-RO type of cargo handling (stowed into ro-ro such as conventional, utilized, palletized cargoes or containers which are carried from the apron and stowed into ro-ro vessel or out of the ro-ro vessel to apron or waiting truck, by means of a forklift or similar wheeled equipment).