Transportation Secretary Arthur P. Tugade has ordered shipping lines to offer at least a 40% discount off regular shipping rates for shipments of food and a quota of 12% of the ship’s capacity for such cargoes.
Department Order No. 2020-007 was issued by Mr. Tugade on June 24 and was published in newspapers Friday.
The Department of Transportation (DoTr) said the discounted rates and cargo quota are intended to “help ensure the viability of food production and delivery thereof in line with the government’s mandate to provide food security for the people.”
The 12% quota is to be observed on a per-voyage basis and applies to shipments of agricultural and food products.
The agricultural and food products are defined as raw or processed commodities meant for human consumption, excluding water, salt and additives.
Another department order, 2020-008, issued the same day and also published Friday, creates a shippers’ protection office to address complaints about the industry’s rates, charges and practices.
The new office will assist shippers, both international and domestic, who encounter “unreasonable fees and charges imposed by international and domestic shipping lines.”
The creation of the office is deemed a temporary emergency measure during the emergency “to protect people from the impact and effects of exorbitant and unreasonable shipping fees resulting in increased prices for domestic consumers.” — Arjay L. Balinbin