TACLOBAN CITY - Local officials and businessmen here have opposed the abrupt increase of tariff rate for ships and cargoes at the port.
The 300 percent to 400 percent increase being imposed by the new operator, Globalport is too high compared to the rate by the previous management, the Leyte Integrated Port Services Incorporated (LIPSI), Vice Mayor Jerry Yaokasin said in an interview Wednesday.
"We had a dialogue with PPA (Philippine Ports Authority) management headed by port manager Manuel Boholano and the Globalport management team regarding the new tariff rates being implemented at the Tacloban Port, and we appealed to both parties to help the city as we are just slowly recovering from the adverse economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic," Yaokasin said.
On November 19, Yaokasin sent a letter to the PPA Eastern Leyte/Samar office concerning the port tariff increase, which would increase the prices of goods and commodities shipped through the city's port.
"The PPA advised the local business chamber of commerce to submit a position paper to the head office of PPA so that it can be taken up and discussed in their next board meeting," the vice mayor added.
In a press briefing on Tuesday, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) Leyte chapter president Wilson Uy asked local government officials to intervene.
"Actually, we can ask our local government friends to pass a resolution, seeking help regarding this problem that we are facing. This is not only our fight since we cannot face this giant company," Uy said.
The increase is shockingly unconscionable as the unit cost of unloading a cargo entails only a minimal amount, according to him.
Uy cited as an example the cost to unload a bag of cement, which is only PHP4.72 under the old rate. Under the adjusted rate, the cost is already PHP21.70 per bag.
Globalport won the PPA bidding held in July 2021 for a new port operator in Tacloban.
The 15-year contract involves port management and operation of cargo handling, and other port-related services.
Tacloban port is the only operating port in the northern part of Leyte Island and the southern part of Samar province. (PNA)