DOTr steps to solve container deposits cheered
MANILA -A trade association of international shipping lines has cheered the proposals from the Department of Transportation (DOTr) on how to handle longstanding issues on container deposits. It said the solutions offered by the government agency were better than the measures being proposed by port authorities.
In a statement on Monday, the Association of International Shipping Lines (AISL) lauded what it characterized as a “democratic approach’ by the DOTr by presenting three options they can choose from.
“We can only commend the creativity of the transportation secretary for a coming up with a set of viable options, which shipping lines can choose from in order to solve the container deposit problem which, for years, has been a source of irritants between the importing community and international shipping lines,” said Patrick Ronas, president of AISL.
International shipping firms, which operate in the Philippines were presented options which include the voluntary discontinuation of the container deposit practice, or to continue it but to ensure that refunds will be available within 14 days.
The third and last option is to have international shipping firms tap the services of Container Ledger Account, an online system which simplifies and speeds up deposit refunds, or other similar services.
The AISL official also said these choices were better compared to the Philippine Port Authority’s (PPA) proposed cargo container tracking system, the Trusted Operator Program-Container Registry and Monitoring System (TOP-CRMS).
“Unlike TOP-CRMS, the DOTr’s democratic solutions provide shipping lines a latitude in determining, and choosing, the most appropriate resolution to the container deposit issue, ensuring a fair and competitive environment within the shipping industry,” Ronas said.
Ronas said the shipping industry was grateful to Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista for the solutions offered to them, adding that they look forward to continued cooperation in addressing future challenges.INQ