The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) has revoked the 50-50 sharing agreement in arrastre fees in all ports nationwide in instances where cargo handlers (CH) uses the equipment of shipping lines in its bid to force cargo handling service operators to procure their own facilities.
“In this regard, PPA MC No. 01-2009 prescribing the 50-50 sharing on the arrastre fees in instances where the CH utilizes equipment of the shipping lines in rendering services to vessels and cargo owners is hereby revoked,” PPA general manager Atty. Juan Sta. Ana stressed in PPA memorandum circular 01-2011 that already took effect last week.
“In the event where the shipping company is willing to allow the CH to use its equipment, any arrangement as regards the payment shall be internal between the CH and the shipping company,” Sta. Ana added.
“Corollary to this, the Commercial Services Department shall delete the portion under ‘containerized cargo’ of the schedule of cargo handling tariff of all ports,” Sta. Ana added.
The order, on the other hand, is welcomed by the shipping lines particularly the Philippine Liner Shipping Association (PLSA).
PLSA said they would not be short-change now in the use of their equipment since cargo-handling operators take advantage of their equipment and just pay their share that also significantly render to the inefficiency of ports.
PLSA added that the order will pave the way for the modernization of cargo-handling equipment as shipping lines has now the power to charge majority or the entire arrastre fee making it more expensive to the cargo handler rather than procure its own equipment.
The order will again finally settle the long-standing dispute between the cargo-handlers led by the Association of North Harbor Cargo Handling Operators (Anchor) and the Philippine Chamber of Arrastre and Stevedoring Operators (PCASO) and the PLSA on the sharing agreement.