Category Archives: Transport and Logistics

New JMC prompt LGUs not to impose fees and taxes on the transport of goods and products


A Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) was issued to prompt local government units (LGUs) not to impose fees and taxes relative to the transport of goods and products. It is a tripartite effort by the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA), with the Department of the Interior and Local Government-Bureau of Local Government Supervision (DILG-BLGS), and Department of Finance-Bureau of Local Government Finance (DOF-BLGF).
Continue reading New JMC prompt LGUs not to impose fees and taxes on the transport of goods and products

Amendment of Public Service Act aimed to be passed in Duterte administration

The bill amending the Public Service Act is aimed to be passed within the remaining term of the Duterte Administration.

Department of Finance (DOF) Secretary Dominguez reported during his Sulong Pilipinas 2021 speech that to fully liberalize the Philippine economy, amendments to the Foreign Investments Act, The Public Service Act, and the Retail Trade Liberalization Act will be pushed through as these three bills are certified as urgent by the President. Continue reading Amendment of Public Service Act aimed to be passed in Duterte administration

Shorter free storage period proposed in PPA’s policy revision

The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) has proposed revisions on their current rules on the commencement of the free storage period (FSP) and the start of the calculation of storage charges.

The proposal depicts shorter FSP for import cargoes, outbound-domestic cargoes, and cargoes entering any domestic port.

The existing five (5) day FSP rule for import cargoes starts after the last day that the last item of cargo is discharged from the vessel. While the proposal prescribes that FSP shall immediately commence on the actual day and time the import cargo is discharged from the ship.

Moreover, the current two (2) day FSP for the outbound-domestic cargo, which begins after the date of cargo entry, is proposed to start off immediately on the actual day and time the outbound domestic cargo is officially received at the port.

Continue reading Shorter free storage period proposed in PPA’s policy revision

DOTr creates an office against unreasonable shipping charges

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) creates an office against unreasonable charges to be known as the Shippers’ Protection Office (SPO).

Under DOTr Department Order (DO) 2020-008, the established SPO will serve as a body that will protect and assist shippers, both international and domestic, against unreasonable fees and charges imposed by international and domestic shipping lines. This applies to all complaints and issues related to the rates, charges, practices and operations of international and domestic shipping lines in the country.

Moreover, this body will (a) assist the public with matters concerning the operations of, as well as the fees and charges collected by international and domestic shipping lines, and (b) require international and domestic shipping lines to submit comments or position on complaints/issues raised against them, and to appear before the SPO. It will consist of DOTr Maritime, DOTr Legal, Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), Philippine Coastguard (PCG), and Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA).

It is notable that the problem on which agency to regulate the exorbitant rates being imposed by the shipping lines has been long-enduring. This new directive will expectedly contribute to the reduced international and domestic shipping cost that will benefit the importers, exporters, and most especially the consumers. –KJDA 

BOC implements Electronic Tracking device for Containerized Cargo (ETRACC)

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) implements the Electronic Tracking of Containerized Cargo System (E-TRACC), a  real-time monitoring system of containerized cargoes using GPS-enabled electronic locks (e-lock), provided by Ascent Solutions Philippines, Inc. The said system is designed to ensure the safe transport of containerized cargoes onto its designated destination. For this, importers/exporters are mandated to pay for every container (thru online facilities) P500.00, within 10km. radius from port of discharge and P700.00 if beyond 10km. radius from the port.

BOC assured there will be no delays as they are ready with the manpower to put and remove the sealed e-lock 24/7 without any additional costs to the importers/exporters. Additionally, this new system will reduce the costs of doing business as Underguarding and Overtime for Customs personnel will be eliminated.

The E-TRACC will be rolled-out initially at the Manila International Container Port (MICP), Port of Manila (POM), and Port of Batangas (POB)  by middle of July this year.

BOC is said to coordinate with the agencies that have an overlapping system, i.e., the Philippine Economic Zone Authority’s (PEZA) seal, to formally release a guideline on what the importers/exporters will do and/or use to avoid redundant compliance of regulation/s.

For the guidance of the general public on this new system, The Bureau is requested to post Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) at their website and other official social media accounts any time soon.

The implementing rules and regulations (CAO 15-2019), of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act of 2016 is manifested under the guidelines stipulated under the CMO 04-2020 that implements the E-TRACC System. –MRJ

New route for Mindanao Exporters Promoted 

Exporters from Mindanao are encouraged to explore the Davao-Manado route for transporting their goods and products, specifically food products (both fresh and processed) for a more cost-effective and shorter route (from 5 weeks to 13 days). This was presented during a meeting hosted by Philippine Ambassador to Indonesia, Amb. Leechiong T. Wee, as both countries – the Philippines and Indonesia are also trying to explore ways to resume the Davao-GenSan-Bitung route with a Manila-based shipping company.

The new route is being used and touted as an express line for direct to market shipping route by the Reefer Express Line, Inc., a new player that plans to begin operating the new route within the first half of this year. But operations will commence depending on the negotiations between the shipping company and exporters from both countries.

The shipping company also revealed its plan to serve the new route with additional calls on other ports not only in Indonesia but also in Malaysia and Brunei en route to Singapore. However, the company said that they have yet to discuss the final details with other shippers from the Philippines, Indonesia and other players from Malaysia.

Moreover, the new route was considered a priority of the current administration and the Indonesian government, citing that Manado is the main gateway of Indonesia to the Philippines. Hence, the call for exporters to explore the new route and the services of Reefer Express Line, Inc. – GTM

Battling Congestion with Intelligent Transportation System 

During his Government Address on The Roads and Traffic Expo, Chairman Danilo Lim of Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) talked about the importance of transportation as one of the key sector in our fast growing economy.

Classified as a Mega City by the United Nation, Metro Manila with its 13 million populations and still growing is seen to worsen and affect the current transportation and road system. Based on the Department of Public Ways and Highways (DPWH), the road system in Metro Manila only increased 7% in the past 10 years, having only 1167km from 1087km back in 2008. In relation, the recent study conducted by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Metro Manila ranked as the most congested city among the 278 developing cities in Asia. Placing first in the “Relative Congestion in ASEAN cities with populations greater than 5 Million” using the average of 1.24, Metro Manila get an average of 1.5.

To battle congestion and related transportation problems, the Philippine government in partnership with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) came up with the Intelligent Transport System, a 5 year comprehensive traffic management plan that aims to complete the data driven analysis of the current traffic structure in Metro Manila with the goal to improve the mobility, connectivity, and safety of Filipinos.

JICA allocated 7% out of their USD 1 trillion outstanding loan for the Philippine alone. JICA and the Philippines currently have 27 ongoing projects totaling USD 15 Billion and 16 out of the 27 ongoing projects are related and allocated for transportation sector alone; with an estimate of amount of Php 375 Billion commitment.

With this assistance from JICA as well as the “Build Build Build” program by the current administration, MMDA Chairman Lim is positive they could “Battle” the Metro Manila congestion. – KJC

Logistics stakeholder presents update to improve logistics industry

The President of Multimodal and Logistics Association Inc. (PMTLAI) Ms. Marilyn C. Alberto, reported during the 2nd Logistics Services Philippines Conference and Exhibition (LSPH) that the issuance of the Joint Administrative Order (JAO) which focuses to address the problems on high shipping cost and port congestion will be the “long term solutions to the problems that affects the logistics services ability to enable business competitiveness.”

The JAO was spearheaded by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Transportation (DOTr), who already signed the JAO, as well as Department of Finance (DOF), together with the Bureau of Customs (BOC), and Philippine Port Authority (PPA).  DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez remarked during his keynote speech that the JAO will be transformed into an Executive Order (EO).

Since the pronouncement of the JAO, PPA issued a detailed regulation thru PPA Administrative Order (AO) 002-19, addressing the transfer of overstaying import shipments in Manila South Harbor and Manila International Container Terminal to maintain the utilization rate.

Likewise, BOC also issued a Customs Memorandum Order (CMO) 13-2019 that provides the interim guidelines on the return of the empty containers at the Port of Manila and Manila International Container Port to avoid port congestion; also stating that the international shipping lines must ensure sufficient containers space for their empties.

The 2nd LSPH organized by the DTI was held last 15 July 2019 at the Philippine International Convention Center. – KJC   

DTI, DOTR, DOF to issue JAO regulating the international shipping charges

In a recent pronouncement, DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez stated that the Departments of Trade and Industry, Transportation and Finance will issue the Joint Administrative Order (JAO) that will regulate local charges imposed by international shipping lines.

The draft JAO was already signed by the Trade Secretary and still need to be co-signed by the Secretaries of Finance and Transportation.

While the JAO is still to be signed, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) and Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) has already issued orders resulting to normalizing utilization rate of container depots in Manila ports back to 70%.

Specifically, the BOC issued Customs Memorandum Order 13-2019 in February which “disallowed brokers, importers, truckers and other port stakeholders to return empty containers within the premises of Manila International Container Port (MICP) and Port of Manila (POM) beginning February, until further notice”.

On the other hand, the PPA issued a directive stating “all importers, consignees, owners, and shippers of containers already cleared by BOC are notified to withdraw said containers within fifteen (15) days and shall be compelled to transfer these containers to a designated port or inland container depot at their cost”.

Hence, this facilitated the transfer of overstaying containers to Batangas and Subic Ports with the cooperation of the port operators.

International Shipping Lines, for their part, are being required to promptly evacuate empty containers from the Manila ports within the prescribed period given by BOC, either by regular ship calls or sweeper vessels.

Secretary Lopez also assured the government is addressing the infrastructure needs of the country with its aggressive infrastructure program. MJAA

Develop domestic airports for sustainable tourism and trade 

The Department of Tourism recognizes the importance of developing domestic airports in improving competitiveness and enhancing sustainable growth both in tourism and trade. It is also highlighted that the airports are not just gateways but more of economic growth drivers. This objective is included in the National Tourism Development Plan (NTDP).

AnchorDuring the 4th Annual Philippine Airport Modernization and Expansion Summit, DOT Undersecretary Arturo Boncato, Jr. shared that the tourism sector generated more than 5 million employment and 12.2% contribution to GDP in 2017. Initial data shows that there are about $ 8 billion income generated from tourist arrivals in 2018.

The development of secondary gateways and provincial airports is one of the advocacies of the Export Development Council. By doing so, congestion in the capital, especially in the immediate and medium term, will be reduced, which in turn will mean lower travel cost for passengers.

To date, there are only 19 night-rated airports in the country. According to the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), the additional airports with Airfield Lighting System (ALS) are the following: Bohol/ Panglao Principal Airport, Subic Bay International Airport, Tuguegarao Principal Airport, and Naga Principal Airport.

The airports to be provided with ALS this year (2019) and currently being processed are the following: Cotabato Principal Airport, Cauayan Principal Airport, Dipolog Principal Airport and Pagadian Principal Airport.

The other recommendations for the domestic airport development are: (1) Modernizing the infrastructure and facilities of the domestic airports to accommodate direct flights to the major gateway of the Philippines, (2) Funding prioritization for the upgrading of domestic airports to provided night-landing and all-weather facilities for a more efficient operation and to emphasize safety improvements to meet International Civil Aviation Organization  Standards And Recommended Practices (ICAO SARPS), (3) Development of airports through Public-Private Partnership, and (4) Development of a coherent long-term investment plan for the airports.

CAAP assured of its continuous work to make more airports in the country night-rated. Equipping airports with night-rated capabilities will enable these facilities to serve more passengers. MJAA