The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) said it has started investigating incidents of additional fees being charged to passengers as ‘ínsurance.’
PPA spokesperson Eunice Samonte, quoted by GMA News, said “actually, we have cases under investigation because of what we’re hearing. This is based on the complaints of the public and on our Facebook page.”
Samonte said the public is also being reminded that there are no charges for the insurance as it is already included in what the passengers paid for.
She also urged the public to immediately report such cases to the port police. “If someone asks them to pay for port insurance, they should immediately inform our police officers,” the official said.
The PPA meanwhile said though delays are expected in international ports amid the Christmas season, the agency is giving its assurance to the public that there will be no congestion in ports across the country.
“We are expecting a slight delay in international ports like what happened previously at the Los Angeles and China ports,” Samonte said, adding that “the Philippine Ports Authority will ensure that we have no congestion.”
The official said the country’s ports have a yard utilization rate of 84.98%. “This means that there is still space and we have no backlog in our ports),” Samonte said.
She said balikbayan boxes can arrive within a week or for as long as two months.
“For domestic packages, we can expect it within one week and for foreign or international packages, around one to two months. So we are advising our countrymen to send out their cargos early,” she said.
Meanwhile, Samonte said the PPA will launch a monitoring system for cargo and balikbayan boxes by December, GMA News further reported. She further added that no tariff hikes for ports are expected this year and next year.
“General Manager Jay Santiago is ensuring that the tariff is stable so we don’t expect any increase this year and the following year. So, as of now, there is no impending tariff hike,” the official said.