Home » Ports/Terminals » Solon to seek PPA charter change

A BILL that will separate the Philippine Ports Authority's (PPA) regulatory and operational functions will soon be filed in Congress. In his keynote speech during the recent induction of the Distribution Management Association of the Philippines (DMAP) officers and board of directors held at the Edsa Shangri-la Hotel, Parañaque Rep. Eduardo Zialcita described the present charter of PPA as "anti-competition".

The solon noted the PPA should be a service-oriented organization focusing on the development of public ports nationwide to encourage more investments in domestic shipping, and not a profit agency. At issue is PPA's ability to approve terminal and port rate adjustments. Because ports and terminals are required to remit a fixed portion of their earnings to PPA, any increase in rates approved by the PPA bring about bigger earnings for the government agency. This is a situation many industry observers see as conflict of interest.

He criticized the agency for allowing successive rate increases in cargo-handling in the past. The congressman said for over 20 years, the PPA was only able to develop around 115 ports, majority of which are private. Zialcita accused the Maritime Industry Authority of tolerating the presence of cartels and monopoly among shipping lines. In the last four years, he said domestic shipping rates have been going up: 2% in November 2000; 6% in November 2002; 5.98% in March 2003; 7.8% in October 2003; 9% in October 2004; and 5.5% in January 2005.

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