Malacañang is confident that the roughly 2,000 percent hike imposed on storage fees will help clear Manila ports which are teeming with overstaying cargo containers.
Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said that President Benigno Aquino III and the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) had issued separate orders imposing new rates for shipping and cargo handlers that use the Manila International Container Terminal (MICT) and the South Harbor port as a storage area.
According to Lacierda, the new storage fees will apply to cargo that remain in the port area more than 11 days after being given clearance.
The rates are P5,000 (USD112) for 20-foot containers (up from P240.65); P8,750 (USD197) for 35-foot containers (from P421.10); P10,000 (USD224) for 40-foot containers (from P481.30) and P11,250 for 45-foot containers.
Lacierda said that the fees would apply to the two Manila ports as well as the ones in Batangas and Subic. The new rates are expected to take effect soon.
The PPA reported that roughly 10 percent of containers at MICT and 25 percent at the South Harbor were overstaying.
“There’s a period [that] the containers are [allowed] in the port. [They] will have to be processed and then after the Bureau of Customs grants gate passes for withdrawal, [these should be removed],” Lacierda said.
He added that the storage fee would be imposed on the 11th day after a cargo has been given clearance if it remains inside the port.
The rate increase comes on the heels of the Manila City government’s decision to lift the truck ban in the city which, according to International Container Terminal Services Inc. chair Enrique Razon Jr., was to blame for port congestion.
Malacañang recently decided to resolve the port crisis which may adversely affect economic growth. Last week, President Aquino issued an order prodding shipping firms and cargo handlers to use the Batangas and Subic ports as an alternative to the Manila gateway.