The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) may decide to terminate its 25-year contract with Batangas international port operator, Asian Terminal Inc. (ATI) for the apparent underutilization of the Batangas Port.
ATI was awarded the concession agreement to operate the Batangas Container Terminal (BCT) in July 2010.
Rep. Raneo Abu of Batangas second district has filed House Resolution 38 urging the committee on ways and means to conduct an investigation on the gross underutilization of the BCT. The port was built through a P5.5-billion loan from Japan Bank for International Cooperation.
During the committee hearing on February 3, Abu lamented the failure of ATI to maximize the huge potential of BCT, which is considered the most modern container terminal in the south of Luzon.
The port that is capable of handling 300,000 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) of container cargo is only processing approximately 11,000 TEUs or a dismal four-percent utilization rate.
“This underutilization means a huge loss of revenue for the government and livelihood opportunities for my constituents,” Abu said.
The contract requires the PPA to release an evaluation of the performance of ATI. “It is highly questionable why PPA has failed to provide the evaluation rating which is required under the Performance Standards and Rating System stated in the contract,” Rep. Estrellita Suansing of Nueva Ecija pointed out.