PPA insists its monitoring system will solve port issues | Inquirer News

Despite protests, PPA insists its monitoring system will solve port issues

By: - Reporter / @zacariansINQ
/ 12:27 AM January 17, 2023

Cargo containers at the Manila International Container Terminal. STORY: Despite protests, PPA insists its monitoring system will solve port issues

Containers filled with donated goods clog Manila International Container Terminal. (INQUIRER FILE PHOTO)

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) insists that its new cargo container monitoring system would the solution to several port problems.

In an earlier statement, the PPA the Trusted Operator Program – Container Registry and Monitoring System (TOP-CRMS) was aimed primarily at eliminating container deposits and managing empty containers.


“The resistance, supposedly based on the fear that the program would inflate the cost of logistics, is far from the actual benefits it can bring to the table,” PPA said in a statement issued on Monday.


According to the PPA, the TOP-CRMS will allow customers, carriers, freight forwarders, and shippers to access the status of their cargoes and containers. This will help streamline all transactions at ports, help lower commodity prices, prevent smuggling,, and improve revenue collections.

The new system will also lower container deposits — from the usual P10,000 up to P30,000 for dry containers and up to P180,000 for refrigerated containers down to just P980 per container monitoring fee.

“The CRMS will also help alleviate storage problems at ports and prevent port congestion through the provision of shared facilities for empty containers as it aims to address the congestion not only inside terminals but also along access roads going in and out of the ports, particularly during holiday seasons,” the PPA said.

Aside from container deposits, the system under its proposed shared staging facility for empty containers will also address concerns on detention charges, container imbalance charges, and peak season charges, among others.

“While some business groups are opposing the TOP-CRMS which will help promote transparency and lessen business costs, PPA would like to take a stand for the underprivileged and underrepresented segment of the logistics sector, namely, the truckers, brokers, and stakeholders that will benefit from this whole-of-government approach of digitalization through the TOP-CRMS,” PPA said.

No encroachment on BOC system

The PPA denied that the system would encroach on the Electronic Tracking of Containerized Cargo (E-TRACC) monitoring system of the Bureau of Customs.


The BOC system, the PPA explained, is limited to containerized cargoes using GPS-enabled electronic locks bound to limited destinations.

It reminded the public that the PPA mandate is to manage container traffic and avoid port congestion.

Under the TOP-CRMS, PPA would keep a registry and monitor all inbound shipping containers that would track the location and movement of every foreign-owned container using industry-accepted data interchange formats through encrypted channels.

“While BOC and PPA have their own respective mandates, sharing of data in order to provide a whole-of-government approach to solving national problems such as smuggling should not be frowned upon but, on the contrary, encouraged,” the PPA said.

In fact, PPA said that the BOC had already expressed support for the system during the consultation on the Implementing Operational Guidelines of PPA Administrative Order 04-2021.

“Although TOP-CRMS is not primarily intended as an anti-smuggling system, the TOP-CRMS can thwart cargo diversion which is a common tool for smuggling schemes,” the PPA said.

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“With this real-time tracking, law enforcers can now eliminate the fake consignees and prevent additional charges. After all, addressing smuggling should be an orchestrated effort.”


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