The Maritime Industry Authority said over the weekend at least 38 shipping operators are set to increase passenger and cargo rates by up to 20 percent this month on high fuel prices.
Two shipping companies in the National Capital Region would impose a 20-percent increase in passenger and cargo rates in April, according to MARINA.
Another 31 shipping operators in Central Visayas would also charge a 20-percent increase in passenger and cargo rates this month.
MARINA said five shipping firms in Western Visayas sent notice they would raise passenger and cargo rates by 20 percent.
Fifty shipping companies nationwide raised passenger and cargo rates between 12 percent and 50 percent in March.
MARINA said Republic Act No. 9295 provides for the deregulation of domestic shipping industry where domestic operators are given the right to fix their own passenger or cargo rates or both to encourage and attract new operators and foster effective competition to serve the public interest.
The Department of Transportation planned to include the maritime transport sector in the grant of fuel subsidies for the second tranche which is expected to be released in April.
The DOTr earlier started to roll out the first tranche of its P2.5-billion fuel subsidy to public utility vehicle beneficiaries amid soaring oil prices.
Data from the Department of Energy showed that Dubai crude increased by around $8 a barrel from March 21 to 25.
MOPS gasoline and MOPS diesel also went up by about $8 and $21 a barrel, respectively.