MANILA - The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) has approved a 24-percent increase in cargo handling tariff for the Manila North Harbour Port Inc. (MNHPI), despite protests from major clients.
The increase was upheld by PPA general manager Jay Daniel Santiago through Memorandum No. 4.
In his memorandum, Santiago said the increase will be implemented in three tranches.
The first tranche of 8 percent from MNHPI's January 2015 tariff rates will take effect this year, while two two succeeding tranches of 8-percent increase each, will be implemented in 2018 and 2019, respectively.
An umbrella group of consumer stakeholders said the move was unjustified, and would lead to higher costs of goods.
"The members of the technical working group are going against what President Rodrigo Duterte had laid down in his 10-point socio-economic, which is to increase business competitiveness, attract investments, and protect Juan dela Cruz from economic shocks," United Filipino Consumers and Commuters president Rodolfo Javellana Jr. said.
"Consumers will ultimately bear the brunt of this tariff increase because traders will just pass on the added costs to the public. The public will always be at the losing end. MNHPI says it wants to upgrade its facilities to justify the tariff increase, but they want consumers to pay for their upgrade. It is as if MNHPI wants to be the only one who benefits from this set up and the technical working group sided with them," Javellana added.
Various port stakeholders have earlier slammed MNHPI's original petition for a 37.45 percent tariff hike.