House transport committee moves to stop PPA weighing fee collection

The Lower House Committee on Transportation (COTr) has adopted House Resolution (HR) No. 2532 urging the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) to discontinue imposing weighing fees on big rolling cargoes handled at ports catering to roll/on-roll/off (Ro-Ro) shipments.

During an oversight meeting held by COTr in Hilongos, Leyte on March 5, affected sectors disclosed that in addition to freight and other port charges, big rolling cargoes such as container trucks and trucks that are six-wheeler types and above are assessed for use of the weighbridge at several ports servicing Ro-Ro shipments.

At the meeting, PPA explained that the fee was being charged for handling services but stakeholders argued the assessment was unreasonable, considering rolling cargoes do not require any handling service.

After evaluation of issues and examination of documents submitted by stakeholders, COTr said the “assessment in question adds to the shipping cost of goods and ultimately ends up as a burden to end-users, considering that weighing is a component of handling of cargoes already covered by arrastre fee which is currently being charged by the handling operators.”

PPA general manager Atty. Jay Daniel Santiago, in a text message to PortCalls on June 6, said he has yet to see a copy of the adopted resolution.

HR 2532 is principally authored by House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Other authors include representatives Manuel Zubiri, Bayani Fernando, Peter Unabia, Roger Mercado, Yedda Marie Romualdez, and Jose Carlos Cari.

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