President Benigno Aquino 3rd has approved an increase in storage fees for overstaying cargoes in major ports in Manila and other areas in a move seen by many as an initiative by the national government to decongest ports.
Palace spokesman Edwin Lacierda on Wednesday said the new storage fees will be imposed on overstaying containers or those that have been cleared and issued gate passes for transfer but are left at the ports for at least 11 days.
The new rates, according to Lacierda, are applicable only at the Manila International Container Port, South Harbor, Port of Batangas and Subic Bay Free Port and will take effect 15 days after publication.
The President earlier signed an Executive Order (EO) declaring the Port of Batangas and Subic Bay Freeport as official extensions of the Port of Manila.
For 20-foot containers, the storage fee was raised to P5,000 from P500; while the fee for 35-foot containers was increased from P842 to P8,750.
Also, fees for 40-foot containers were increased to P10,000 from P962.60; and for 45-foot containers, P11,250 from P1,082.90.
Lacierda also explained that the new rates were based on a memorandum issued by Philippine Ports Authority on September 16 and which was subsequently approved by President.
As of last week, there were around 5,000 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) of overstaying Customs-cleared, ready-to-go containers.
Lacierda said incoming or outgoing foreign vessels at the Port of Manila could berth in either Batangas or Subic with the same rules and fees as Manila.