Rey Anthony Chiu
TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, November 23, 2012 (PIA) –The P12.00 port access fee which the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) collects to pubic trikes starting December 1, is the driver’s responsibility and not the public’s.
This sums up the information which PPA manager Manuel Boholano shared at the Kapihan sa PIA Thursday.
The soft-spoken port chief said they could have started regulating the port access; the primary reason for their giving away access passes to persons and vehicles with legitimate businesses at the pier in 2009, but humanitarian reasons prevent them from immediately implementing PPA Administrative Order 04-2009.
The order prescribes the revised pass control system and access regulations for the use of the country’s network of ports.
The December 1 implementation has also stirred confusion among the public and the tricycle drivers who may have to pay an additional P12.00 for every entry at the port for doing business in the facility.
The PPA, through manager Boholano has explained that the delay in the implementation of tricycle access fees is because they urged tricycle drivers to organize.
By this, the drivers would share the cost in obtaining an annual port user’s pass and identification, which would allow drivers to get through their business at the port.
Private vehicles have since been paying the P12.00 temporary entry pass since 2009, Boholano said. That is in lieu of the P2,000+ annual port user’s pass granted to users with legitimate business at the facility.
The PPA admits that exacting P2,072 for a driver’s annual port pass is quite heavy, but when an organization processes the pass, a 40 member organization could avail of the pass at a little more than P50, and that’s for the whole year, Boholano explained.
The PPA waited until the time has come when they would have to implement, said Boholano.
Drivers have not organized as yet, so that we are forced to exact P12.00 everytime they come to the port, PPA said said.
Over this, the port manager begs for public indulgence in their implementation of a long overdue policy in regulating access to the port of Tagbilaran.
He also said, PPA is an independent regulating government entity that has its own charter and fiscal autonomy and is in charge of development, administration and management of the country’s ports operations in line with international standards, including international security protocols.
The new access regulation is in line with the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code which the Philippine government contracts to follow, to deter terrorism attacks and security sabotage like what happened in September of 2011, also explains Tagbilaran Port Police Division Commander PPSSupt. Norberto Alfaraz.
The PPA Port Police is taking the responsibility of implementing the port facility security measures, topmost of which is a policy to keep people and vehicles without legitimate business off the port.
To facilitate this, the PPA issues privilege access passes to those with legitimate businesses inside the port, upon securing a permit to operate with a corresponding personal pass of vehicle sticker to gain eventual access to the port, except in restricted parts.
So, if a driver picks a fare to the port and exacts P12.00 on top of the contracted fare, it may be the passenger’s discretion to pay for the tricycle pass, but it is the driver’s responsibility, PPA said. (30/ED)