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8 December 2009
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Philippines: Port operators raise charges by 7%

Philippine post operators - Asian Terminals Inc. (ATI) and International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) - will collect additional 7-percent port charges starting January 1, 2010, reported local business daily Business Mirror.

The imposition of the additional 7 percent in port fees will complete the two-phase 15-percent rate adjustment that PPA approved earlier this year. ICTSI and ATI began implementing an 8-percent increase in its port rates in May 2009.

In an order, the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) allowed ICTSI, operator of Manila International Container Terminal (MICT); and ATI, which manages Manila South Harbor, to start collecting the increased rates starting on January 1.

“The second tranche of 7 percent and not compounded will be implemented effective January 1, 2010,” the order signed by PPA general manager Oscar M. Sevilla said.

The two port operators had asked for a 17-percent increase but got only 15 percent. In their original petition, they would have started collecting an additional 10 percent immediately and 5 percent six months thereafter.

As the country’s largest, ICTSI and ATI can corner more than 60 percent of the cargo passing through Manila. They implemented in May 2009 an 8-percent increase in cargo-related charges for foreign containerised and non-containerised cargo.

In justifying the rates charges, the two companies said they needed to raise more money to enable them to continue upgrading their respective ports, which contributes half of PPA’s annual income

Earlier in an interview with reporters, Christian Gonzalez, ICTSI vice president for operations and MICT general manager, said the increase is vital as it will fund some of the improvements in the port.

“We could no longer defer the rate increase as our programmed investments are for the future and need time to implement,” Gonzalez said.

Some improvements have already been started, he said, “making the increase more important now to source out the needed funds to finance these projects.”



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