A LEGISLATOR has filed a bill seeking to reorganize the Philippine Ports Authority by separating its regulatory and commercial functions.
House Bill 8005, authored by Economic Affairs Committee chair Arthur C. Yap, proposed to convert the PPA into the Philippine Ports Corp. (Philports) to handle development, management and operation of public ports.
Regulatory functions of the PPA, meanwhile, will be transferred to the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA).
The need for a reorganization, Mr. Yap said in his explanatory note, has arisen due to “low service levels, inefficient port operations and ever-increasing port charges.”
The high cost of transport “serves as an effective barrier to increased trade (both local and foreign) and undermines the country’s overall competitiveness,” he added.
If enacted, Philports will collect port fees and dues approved by MARINA, which will fund port development, modernization, and expansion, among others.
Philports will become more of a service provider than a revenue generating entity. Philports was not envisioned as earning revenue from cargo handling and/or any service providers contracted by Philports,” and “revenue generated by private commercial ports.
Philports is to be governed by a 15-member Board, which is to include representatives from both the government and the private sector.
This will include the President of the Philports, secretaries of Transportation, Trade and Industry, Agriculture, Public Works and Highways, Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources, and the Socioeconomic planning secretary.
The private sector, meanwhile, is to be represented by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Supply Chain Management Association of the Philippines, Port Users Confederation, Philippine Exporters Confederation, National Tourism Congress, the shipping industry, and the Philippine Chamber of Arrastre and Stevedoring Operators. — Charmaine A. Tadalan