Palace cuts Batangas port fees to decongest Manila
MANILA, Philippines–Malacañang has approved a measure granting discounts on port charges to cargo ships using the Batangas Port to encourage them to use other ports in Luzon aside from the ones in Manila.
“The President already signed an executive order granting 90 percent discounts to berthing charges to all shipping lines docking in Batangas,” Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) General Manager Juan Sta. Ana said in a statement Sunday.
The PPA said that the discounts took effect at the start of the month. Ships docking in Batangas now enjoy a whopping 90 percent discount on the port fee which now stands at only $0.008 per gross revenue ton (GRT) per day from the previous $0.081 per GRT a day. Dockage-at-berth fees have also been slashed by 90 percent to just $0.004 per GRT a day from the standard daily rate of $0.039 per GRT.
The discounted rates will be in place for six months after which they will be further reduced by 50 percent. This would mean port dues of $0.04 per GRT a day and dockage-at-berth daily fees of just $0.02 per GRT.
Along with the discounts, the PPA said that it has changed the basis for the computation of dockage-at-berth fees from per GRT per calendar day to per GRT per block of 24 hours.
“This is a big boost in our bid to increase utilization of the Batangas Port. It will offer incentives for foreign vessels at the Batangas Container Terminal for a total period of one year,” Sta. Ana said.
He noted that the discounts were part of the incentives that the PPA has drafted to encourage shipping lines to also dock in the ports in Batangas and Subic which remain underutilized compared to the North and South Harbors in Manila which port operators are now trying to decongest.
Sta. Ana said port operations in Manila slowed down in the first half of the year after the city government enforced an extended truck ban. Thousands of containers piled up at the North and South Harbors as fewer trucks were able to haul them out of the port every day, creating a backlog.
Since June, at least six shipping lines have been docking regularly at the Batangas port, including MCC Transport Corp., NYK Shipping Lines and SITC Container Lines.
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