Cargo industry at odds over PPA tracking system
MANILA -A local shipping trade association on Tuesday lamented attempts to revive the implementation of the Philippine Port Authority’s (PPA) container tracking and registry system, reflecting the prevailing sentiments from industry players and stakeholder groups, which see the measure driving up logistics and shipping costs in the country
The Association of International Shipping Lines (AISL) criticized the recent call from the Confederation of Truckers Association of the Philippines (CTAP)—the largest group of truckers and brokers in the Philippines—urging the full implementation of the Trusted Operator Program-Container Registry and Monitoring System (TOP-CRMS).
“It is saddening to know that, while the TOP-CRMS is undergoing a thorough review by the [Department of Transportation], CTAP is trying to force the issue by pushing for its soonest implementation. It should have the patience to wait for the [department’s] findings and should observe respect to the indefinite deferment, and not agitate public opinion,” Patrick Ronas, president of AISL, said in a statement.
“We cannot also understand why CTAP keeps on harping on the issues of international shipping charges and container deposit as these concerns are not within PPA’s jurisdiction. It should not lose sight of the fact that PPA’s mandate under its charter is port administration and development,” he stressed.
The AISL official also cited that the PPA is not the regulatory body of international shipping lines, adding that the issue should be left for lawmakers who are preparing a proposed law, which will strengthen government oversight over local charges levied by international shipping firms.
“Complaints against high shipping charges and container deposit are now being addressed by Congress through House Bill No. 04933. The bill has granted the Maritime Industry Authority the power to exercise supervision and oversight over charges and container deposit imposed by international shipping lines. CTAP should therefore give utmost deference to Congress, being the law-making branch of the Philippine government,” he added.
AISL, along with sixteen other business organizations in the country, are opposing the PPA’s TOP-CRMS programs, saying the measure will entail additional costs for shipping companies and other stakeholders. INQ
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