The controversial Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) container tracking system is one step closer to implementation after the scheme passed an Anti-Bureaucracy Administration (ARTA) review.
The Trusted Operator Container Program Registry Monitoring System (TOP-CRMS), which has been indefinitely shelved by the PPA board, has been rated as “good practice” by ARTA.
“The PPA provided concise and satisfactory evidence for all sections of the RIA (Regulatory Impact Assessment),” the ARTA resolution states.
“The TOP-CRMS PPA also meets ARTA’s criteria for savings mechanisms, including container tank fees, port sidings, and reducing empty container return waiting times to less than 72 hours,” he added.
PPA General Manager Jay Daniel R. Santiago called the decision “a welcome development given the concerns raised about the program… ARTA’s green light means that TOP-CRMS is the best option to address the current challenges.”
“PPA will continue to refine the program and implementation of PPA Administrative Order 04-2021 and its Implementation Guidelines (IOG) will be continuously monitored and necessary adjustments will be made to IOG as needed,” Santiago added. . . .
Various business groups and shipping industry stakeholders are opposing the container tracking proposal, arguing that it would duplicate the functions of the Bureau of Customs and also extend the PPA’s powers to ports not under its jurisdiction.
They also argued that the implementation of the scheme would lead to higher prices.
However, the PPA has stated that the goals of TOP-CRMS include ending the practice of arbitrary fees charged by international shipping lines. It also aims to ensure that empty containers move quickly within a certain period of time.
It is also said to be part of the PPA’s digital transformation initiative in response to a statement from President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. a call to public authorities to make services to the population more efficient, transparent and less prone to corruption.
TOP-CRMS aims to reduce logistics costs by replacing the current provision where a container deposit of 10,000 to 30,000 pesos must be paid along with a container deposit insurance of 250 pesos and a container monitoring fee in 730 pesos. The scheme will also affect empty container handling costs as it will reduce the existing fee from 6,400 pesos to 3,520 pesos.
PPA said it will also ensure that empty containers are returned without delay in a more efficient, transparent and less costly process.
Other existing fees such as the 1500 pesos advance notice fee, the 1200 pesos documentation fee, the ascent and the ascent fee, each costing 1100 pesos; and three-day storage at a price of 1,500 pesos, among other things, is expected to be eliminated.