The Manila North Harbour Port, Inc. (MNHPI) has cancelled all lease agreements at the North Harbor to pave the way for the increase in all rental rates at the country’s premier but most inefficient port.
MNHPI has already informed their stakeholders to make the necessary arrangements with the company in order to continue their business at the port.
Latest data showed that MNHPI is trying to increase their rental rates by as much as 87.5% per square meter (sqm) which is also 62.5% higher than their earlier proposed rental rate increase of 25%.
As of the moment, rental rates at the North Harbor stands at P80 per square meter. In April 2010, MNHPI tried to impose a 25% increase in rates from P80 to P100 per sqm. Their latest proposal, on the other hand, is to peg rental rates to P150 per square meter from the current P80 per sqm.
As expected, the Philippine Liner Shipping Association (PLSA) is opposing the increase claiming that it should be approved by the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) first before it will be imposed.
Just like in their earlier position, PLSA claimed that the increase in rental fees are higher that what they are paying the PPA before and are not acceptable to their members and might have violated several orders with regard to rate setting mechanism and port rules and regulations such as PPA memorandum order No. 69-2009 and Sec. 4.02 of the North Harbor contract.
PPA Memorandum Order Number 69-2009 dated November 27, 2009, meanwhile, states that the rental rates on Lands at the Manila North Harbor is P80 per square meter up to September 2010 while the last sentence of the second paragraph of Section 4.02 of the Contract between PPA and MNHPI states and we quote: “Provided, further, that the Authority shall exercise its regulatory powers over the Contractor in the implementation of port rules and regulations as well as in rate setting at the Manila North Harbor.”
As of the moment, MNHPI is holding in abeyance the imposition of the new rental fees after PLSA asked for a 15-day period wherein to file its opposition to the proposed rate increase. The period has lapsed yesterday.
However, as of presstime yesterday, the PLSA has yet to submit their position paper either to MNHPI and the PPA.