• Palace approves cuts in Batangas port fees


    As part of measures to decongest Manila ports
    The Office of the President has approved the reduction of port charges and other vessel-handling fees at the Port of Batangas to attract more users and incentivize port operator International Container Terminals Services, Inc. (ICTSI) for aiding in the decongestion of Manila’s ports.

    Direct callers of the Port of Batangas can enjoy a 90-percent discount on port dues from the existing fee of $0.081 per gross revenue ton (GRT) per day to only $0.008 per GRT per day as well as a 90-percent cut in dockage-at-berth from $0.039 per GRT to only $0.004 per GRT per day.

    However, the new rates, which took effect at the start of August, will be effective for six months only.

    The discounts for the succeeding six months will be reduced to 50 percent for both dues. Port dues would then be pegged at $0.040 per GRT per day while dockage-at-berth would be pegged at $0.020 per GRT per day.

    In a statement, Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) General Manager Juan Sta. Ana said, “This (the reduction of fees) is a big boost in our bid to increase utilization of the Batangas Port.”

    “It (the reduction) will offer incentives for foreign vessels at Batangas Container Terminal for period of one year,” he added.

    The official also noted, “The new directive has likewise changed the basis in the computation of the Dockage-at-berth from per GRT per calendar day or fraction thereof to per GRT per block of 24 hour or fraction thereof.”

    According to Sta. Ana, making the Batangas Port a viable option for shippers would help decongest Manila’s ports.

    At present, at least six international carriers have been regularly calling at the Port of Batangas since June. This includes MCC Transport Corp., NYK Shipping Lines, SITC Container Lines, American Presidents Lines, Regional Container Lines/Pacific International Lines, and CMA-CGM.

    Meanwhile, port dues for vessels chartered by ICTSI to carry overstaying cargoes from the Port of Manila to Subic has been reduced from $0.081 per GRT per call to only $1 per call while dockage-at-berth has been cut to $1 per vessel from $0.039 per GRT per calendar day or a fraction thereof.

    The reduction was made to incentivize ICTSI for shouldering the costs of moving out all overstaying cargoes from the Ports of Manila. The vessel will ship out around 6,000 containers from Manila’s ports to the ports in Subic.

    For this purpose, ICTSI is chartering a vessel with a capacity of about 1,300 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) with a GRT of 18,321 tons for at least 14 days to ferry empty containers and other overstaying containers from the ports of Manila. During its stay in the country, the vessel is expected to relieve the ports of Manila of about 4,000 to 6,000 TEUs.

    Currently, congestion at the Ports of Manila continues to decline with yard utilization almost down to the desired level of 80 percent.

    The Cabinet Cluster on Port Congestion, meanwhile, continues to look for ways to further decongest the ports including the opening up of additional empty container depots near Manila ports including a 10-hectare empty lot within the CCP Complex to temporarily house empty containers bound to be collected by international shipping lines.

    The CCP depot will only be operated from 12 midnight to 5 a.m. to allow the free-flow of trucks to and from the area.

    ICTSI and Asian Terminals, Inc (ATI) will maintain the facility.

    On Friday, the PPA ordered the cited port operators to come up with a list of shipments containing food items and other perishable goods and directed them prioritize their release in order to reduce the port congestion’s inflationary effects on food items in the market.


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