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Exporters want freeze on cargo-handling rate increase, mandatory container weighing

The Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc. (Philexport) and Export Development Council (EDC) said Friday that the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) needs to defer approval of a petition for an increase in cargo handling tariffs and passenger terminal fees at the Manila North Harbor.

In a statement, Philexport and EDC also said the PPA should “suspend the mandatory weighing of export containers for the sake of small exporters and enterprises.”

Philexport said a written request has been sent to PPA General Manager Jay Daniel R. Santiago.

The group said the letter “warned that approving the rate hike now and allowing the mandatory weighing of export containers to continue will further add to the difficulties faced by micro, small and medium enterprises and exporters.”

EDC and Philexport said approval of the rate increase requested by the Manila North Harbor Port, Inc. should be postponed “until the required Regulatory Impact Assessment to determine the regulatory burden of the proposal can be conducted.”

They added that the agency should “waive its share in the cargo handling fee to resolve the ‘conflict of interest’ issue around PPA and enhance the competitiveness of the economy.”

The PPA had yet to respond to a request for comment at deadline time.

Virtual public hearings on the petition of the Manila North Harbor Port have been scheduled, with all concerned parties invited to attend the hearing. – Arjay L. Balinbin

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