The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) on Saturday, November 28, said that it would waive domestic dockage and lay-up fees for local shipping firms on a “first-come, first-served” basis.
Starting December 1, local shipping companies and operators can apply for the financial assistance program of the agency.
Eligible firms must either hold a valid certificate of public convenience, provisional authority to operate, or special permits issued by the Maritime Industry Authority.
The firms should also be PPA-accredited. Shipping companies with pending applications from PPA are also eligible for the program.
According to the PPA, the assistance is on a “per vessel, per transaction” basis.
PPA General Manager Jay Santiago said that the assistance would be implemented immediately.
“Ever since the COVID-19 broke out, our maritime workers have been vital to keep the economy thriving. They are also considered as frontline workers during these challenging times and so we will implement this as soon as possible,” said Santiago.
Returning and inbound seafarers who disembarked through Philippine ports and airports would also continue to enjoy free coronavirus testing.
The COVID-19 testing program for the maritime sector has a budget of P270 million, allocated under the Bayanihan to Recover as One, according to the PPA.
In late September, a molecular testing laboratory in Manila was launched, specifically to cater to the testing requirements for crew-change hub ports controlled by the PPA. – Rappler.com