The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), is waiving the collection of P250 Million port fees starting today (Dec. 1) to assist shipping companies and perators.
The agency will give the financial assistance on a ‘first come, first served’ and per vessel, per transaction basis.
In addition, the PPA is also providing returning seafarers with free coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) testing via a P270 million fund.
PPA is implementing the initiatives under the provisions of RA 11494, the “Bayanihan to Recover as One Act” (Bayanihan 2).
To reduce the adverse effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the shipping industry, the P250 million will be used as financial assistance to subsidize the fees to be collected from domestic shipping owners, specifically, dockage (domestic) and lay-up fee (domestic).
For shipping companies/operators to avail of the financial assistance, they 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 and operators must hold a valid accreditation certificate issued by PPA.
Shipping companies/operators who have pending applications for accreditation are also eligible, unless otherwise slapplication has been denied by PPA.
For Filipino seafarers, only inbound or returning seafarers who have disembarked through Philippine ports and airports are entitled to avail of the free COVID-19 testing, as covered by the Bayanihan 2 fund.
This will be conducted by a service provider to be sourced by the PPA.
The P520 Million financial assistance, in the form of the waived fees and free COVID-19 testing, will be of great help to maritime workers who were greatly affected by the economic downturn, according to Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur P. Tugade.