MANILA – Several groups in the logistics sector have cited the possible impacts of the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) Administrative Order No. 04-2021 prescribing the policy on the registration and monitoring of containers.
In a press conference at the World Trade Center in Makati City Friday, Association of International Shipping Lines (AISL) president Patrick Ronas said the PPA order, also known as the Trusted Operator Program-Container Registry and Monitoring System (TOP-CRMS), will further contribute to the inflationary pressure when implemented.
In their joint statement, the groups said the port regulator allegedly failed to take into account that its new order could worsen the inflation rate as this would result in more expenses for businesses involved in the importation and transport of various groups.
"The PPA fails to consider that the ultimate victims of these additional costs are the ordinary Filipino consumer, who is already bleeding from an inflation rate of 8.1 percent. The policy will result in an astronomical increase in prices of basic food and other commodities," the statement read.
They said the additional costs will only be passed on to the consumers.
The groups claimed that the TOP-CRMS/Empty Container Storage Shared Service Facility (ECSSSF) will result in an almost 50 percent increase in the cost of importing goods, and that could lead to an additional annual import cost estimating PHP35 billion.
Under the PPA's TOP-CRMS proposal, importers and other logistics stakeholders are required to pay an additional container deposit insurance and monitoring fee worth PHP980 and PHP3,408, respectively, aside from their other existing expenses.
Aside from inflationary impacts, the groups said the new order may lead to another port congestion and job losses in the logistics sector.
Groups opposing PPA AO 04-2021 include the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc., Philippine Exporters Confederation, Supply Chain Management Association of the Philippines, Philippine Association of Meat Processors, Inc., Philippine Multimodal Transport and Logistics Association, Inc., Alliance of Concerned Truck Owners and Organizations (ACTOO), Alliance of Container Yard Operators of the Philippines, Association of International Shipping Lines, Inc. (AISL), Association of Off-Dock CFS Operators of the Philippines, Inc., Custom Brokers Federation of the Philippines, Pasig Port Users United, Philippine Liner Shipping Association, Philippine Ship Agents Association, Port Users Confederation of the Philippines, Inc., Practicing Customs Brokers Association of the Philippines and the United Portusers Confederation of the Philippines, Inc.
The groups have sent letters to government officials seeking for the revocation of the PPA AO 04 -2021, and called on economic advisers to study its impact on inflation. (PNA)