The Philippines President has approved the reduction of port charges and other vessel-handling related fees at the Port of Batangas and that paid by port operator International Container Terminals Services, Inc. (ICTSI), the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) said.
The move is aimed at attracting more direct callers and port users to utilize Batangas Port while incentivizing Manila International Container Terminal (MICT) operator ICTSI for its share in declogging the Ports of Manila.
According to PPA, direct callers at Batangas can enjoy a 90% discount on Port Dues from the existing fee of $0.081 per gross revenue ton (GRT) per day to only $0.008 per GRT per day as well as a 90% cut in dockage-at-berth from $0.039 per GRT to only $0.004 per GRT per day.
The new rates, however, will be applicable only for six months wherein the discount for the succeeding six months will be reduced to 50% for both or from $0.081 GRT per day to $0.040 per GRT per day and from $0.039 per GRT to $0.020 per GRT per day.
The new rates took effect at the start of this month.
“This is a big boost in our bid to increase utilization of the Batangas Port,” PPA General Manager Juan C. Sta. Ana said.
“It will offer incentives for foreign vessels at Batangas Container Terminal for period of 1 year”.
“The new directive has likewise changed the basis in the computation of the dockage-at-berth from per GRT per calendar day or fraction thereof to per GRT per block of 24 hours or fraction thereof,” Sta. Ana added.
Currently, there are at least six international carriers calling at Batangas port since June. This includes MCC Transport Corp., NYK Shipping Lines, SITC Container Lines, American Presidents Lines, Regional Container Lines/Pacific International Lines, and CMA-CGM.
Meanwhile, port dues for the vessel chartered by ICTSI to bring out overstaying cargoes from the Port of Manila to Subic has been reduced from the $0.081 per GRT per call to only $1 per call while dockage-at-berth has been cut to $1 per vessel from $0.039 per GRT per calendar day or fraction thereof.
The purpose of the reduction is to incentivize ICTSI since the port operator is the one to shoulder the cost in moving out all overstaying cargoes at the Port of Manila. The vessel will ship out about 6,000 containers out of the Manila ports to the Subic ports.
ICTSI is chartering a vessel with a capacity of about 1,300 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) with a GRT of 18,321 tons for at least 14 days to ferry empty containers and other overstaying containers from the Ports of Manila to Subic. During its stay in the country, the vessel is expected to ship about 4,000-6,000 TEUs out of the Manila ports.
Currently, congestion at the Ports of Manila continues to decline with yard utilization almost down to the desired level of 80%.
The Cabinet Cluster on Port Congestion also continues to find ways on how to further decongest the ports including the opening up of additional empty container depots with close proximity to the Manila ports including a 10-hectare empty lot inside the CCP Complex to temporarily house empty containers bound to be collected by the international shipping lines.
The CCP depot will only be operated from 12 midnight to 5AM to allow the free-flowing of trucks to and from the area. The facility will be maintained by ICTSI and Asian Terminals, Inc.
Earlier, PPA ordered the two port operators ICTSI for MICT and ATI for Manila South Harbor, to come up with the list of shipments containing food items and other perishables and prioritize its release in order to reduce the inflationary effects of congestion to food items in the market.
Press Release, August 20, 2014