Palace offers perks to Batangas port users

Rappler.com
The government is promoting the Batangas port as an alternative to the congested Manila ports

UNDER STUDY. A study is set to assess how the Batangas port can be fully utilized for Manila port's sake. AFP Photo

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang has cut charges at the Batangas port by 90% as an incentive for importers using the facility instead of the Manila ports.

The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) said direct callers would only be charged $0.008 per gross revenue ton (GRT) per day, instead of $0.081 per GRT per day.

Dockage-at-berth fee was reduced to $0.004 from $0.0039 per GRT per day.

Also, incentives for foreign vessels at the Batangas Container Terminal will last for a year.

PPA General Manager Juan Sta. Ana said the new rates were approved by the Office of the President, and would be applicable for 6 months.

In the succeeding 6 months, the discount would be reduced to 50%, he said. Therefore, direct callers will be charged $0.040 per GRT per day, while dockage-at-berth will stand at $0.020 per GRT per day.

“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,” said Sta. Ana.

The discount, according to Sta. Ana, is a “big boost in our bid to increase utilization of the Batangas port.”

Batangas, including Subic port, is being promoted as an alternative to Manila ports, which are experiencing congestion.

Meanwhile, port fee for the vessel chartered by the International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) to sweep overstaying cargoes from Manila ports to Subic was reduced from $0.081 per GRT per call to $1 per call. The dockage-at-berth fee was also cut to $1 per vessel from $0.039 per GRT per calendar day or fraction thereof.

According to the PPA, ICTSI charters a vessel with a capacty of at least 1,300 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) with a GRT of 18,321 tons for at least 14 days to transfer empty containers from Manila ports to Subic.

The government is offering a discount for users of the Batangas port to ease the congestion at the Manila ports aggravated by a local government truck ban.

In February, Manila started prohibiting trucks from entering or passing through the city from 5 am to 9 pm, with a 10 am to 3 pm window.

Since the implementation of the truck ban, only 3,500 TEUs are being moved out of Manila ports each day, while the average TEUs arriving daily are 5,000, causing a backlog of 1,500 TEUs per day, figures from the PPA showed. – Mick Basa/Rappler.com

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