PH shipowners to enjoy waived port fees from Dec 1

Starting Dec 1, the Philippine Ports Authority will waive collection of some port fees for shipping companies/operators, and provide returning seafarers with free coronavirus (COVID-19) testing.

A total of P250 million will be used to subsidize fees to be collected from domestic shipping owners, specifically, dockage (domestic) and lay-up fee (domestic), according to the Department of Transportation (DOTr), mother agency of PPA.

Another P270 million will be used to fund free COVID-19 testing of returning Filipino seafarers.

The initiatives are meant to reduce the adverse effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the shipping industry, and in keeping with provisions under Republic 11494, also known as the “Bayanihan to Recover as One Act” (Bayanihan 2).

Shipping companies/operators availing of the financial aid must be a holder of a valid Certificate of Public Convenience (CPC), Provisional Authority (PA), or Special Permit (SP) issued by the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA).

In addition, shipping companies/operators must be a holder of a valid accreditation certificate issued by PPA. Those with pending applications for accreditation are also eligible, unless application has been denied by PPA.

The financial assistance shall be on a ‘first come, first served’ and per vessel, per transaction bases.

It will be provided from December 1 to 19, or until the P250 million fund has been depleted, whichever comes earlier, according to PPA Memorandum Circular No. 42-2020, which provides the guidelines for the grant of the financial assistance.

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