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Home3PL/4PLTruckers’ groups slam permit to operate requirement

Truckers’ groups slam permit to operate requirement

  • About 200 vehicles staged a caravan in Manila on Nov 22 to oppose the Philippine Ports Authority permit to operate requirement
  • The caravan was spearheaded by the Confederation of Truckers Association of the Philippines and Inland Haulers and Truckers Association

The Confederation of Truckers Association of the Philippines (CTAP) and Inland Haulers and Truckers Association (INHTA) conducted a caravan on November 22 to demand a moratorium on the implementation of the Philippine Ports Authority’s (PPA) requirement for a permit to operate (PTO).

About 200 vehicles, which included cars and motorcycles, joined the caravan staged in front of the administration building of the Philippine Ports Authority in Port Area, Manila, and at the Manila International Container Terminal, INHTA president Teodorico Gervacio told PortCalls.

The groups held the mass action to highlight their appeal for a moratorium on the implementation of PPA Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 19-2021 and their opposition to the online registration for the Manila International Container Terminal (MICT) Pass.

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

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

The PTO policy 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.

READ: PPA implements “no permit, no service” policy for truckers nationwide

Aside from the caravan, CTAP and INHTA encouraged their members to join their “rest day” that started November 22 and not transact with the ports.

Gervacio estimated about 60% to 70% of CTAP and INHTA members support the “rest day,” but acknowledged it may not have much of an impact on the operations of Manila terminals as of November 22 since Mondays are traditionally slow days at the ports.

PortCalls reached out to PPA on any monitored disruption in operations but the agency had yet to respond as of press time.

As of early afternoon on November 23, Gervacio said they have yet to decide on their next activities.

According to the Bureau of Customs, yard utilization as of November 22 at the MICT and Manila South Harbor were at 80.84% and 63%, respectively.

CTAP, INHTA, and the Alliance of Concerned Truck Owners and Organizations (ACTOO) had earlier requested for a moratorium, saying majority of their members still did not have a PTO.

The Anti-Red Tape Authority (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.

READ: ARTA backs truckers’ call extending moratorium on permit to operate

CTAP and INHTA also raised the issue of MICT’s new requirement for online registration which took effect last November 1.

In a letter to Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, CTAP said MICT’s policy was implemented without consulting truckers and even when the truckers were already being subjected to PPA’s PTO requirement.

CTAP claimed the “abrupt implementation without proper consultation from port stakeholders caused financial burden [to their] members and hampers their respective operations due to penalties incurred occasioned by the technical and system glitches” of the online registration.

CTAP also wrote to PPA’s Santiago on October 28 saying it strongly opposed MICT’s new requirement and stood with PPA’s policy that trucking operators with valid PTO could operate in any PPA port without the need for additional registration.

ACTOO last November 18 and 19 also held protest actions that were suspended on November 20. In a statement, ACTOO said the decision to suspend the protests followed PPA’s statement during a meeting with ARTA and several stakeholders on November 19 that it would finally issue a response to ARTA’s November 11 letter to Santiago.

READ: Truckers stage protest to suspend PPA permit to operate requirement

ACTOO also 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 clarified that truckers were not against registration per se since they have been securing PTO even before, but that they 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.

Truckers, however, have been asking PPA to exempt them from needing accreditation, saying the requirement is redundant and burdensome as they are already 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 Land Transportation Office. – Roumina Pablo

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