The Shippers’ Protection Office (SPO) under the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) is now accepting complaints concerning shipping fees and charges even as it awaits rules of procedures from the Department of Transportation (DOTr).
The SPO was created by DOTr Department Order (DO) No. 2020-008 dated June 24 as part of temporary measures to protect people during a state of national calamity “from the impact and effects of exorbitant and unreasonable shipping fees resulting in increased prices for domestic consumers.”
Under the order, the SPO is mandated to protect domestic and international shippers “against unreasonable fees and charges imposed by domestic and international shipping lines.” It should look into “all complaints and issues related to the rates, charges, practices and operations of international and domestic shipping lines in the country.”
The order also follows Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) Resolution No. 46, which approved DOTr’s recommendation to create a complaints office under PPA that will be tasked to accept and address all complaints against international shipping lines.
Complaints may be sent through SPO’s email address at firstname.lastname@example.org, PPA told PortCalls.
The SPO is headed the PPA general manager as chair and the administrator of the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) as vice chair. The SPO Secretariat is headed by PPA’s Port Operations and Services Department.
The SPO and its members should collect and consolidate all relevant data and information regarding the operation and the fees and charges collected by domestic and international shipping lines.
The office should also require domestic and international shipping lines to submit their comments or position on complaints/issues raised against them, and to appeal before the SPO, if necessary.
In addition, the SPO should coordinate with appropriate government agencies having jurisdiction and authority to regulate or resolve matters communicated with the office.