Senator Grace Poe on Sunday called for the removal of the Philippine Ports Authority’s (PPA’s) Trusted Operator Program-Container Registry and Monitoring System (TOP-CRMS), which she said would only create redundancy in procedures.
In a statement, Poe said discussions in the Senate had found that the PPA’s new system was unnecessary as it only added a layer of bureaucracy, with shipping lines already having their system.
“The issue of port congestion, which PPA used to justify the policy, is apparently non-existent. Even PPA, as claimed by ARTA, admitted that there is no congestion in PPA-regulated ports,” she said.
She was referring to the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA), which green-lit the TOP-CRMS in March after a review of its implementing operating guidelines.
“As the Senate Committee on Public Services found, the TOP-CRMS will not solve the logistics problem it seeks to address, but only create redundancy in procedures and entails additional costs to port users,” Poe said.
GMA News Online had reached out to the PPA for comment on the matter, but no response has been received as of this posting.
In a statement released in January, PPA General Manager Jay Santiago said the TOP-CRMS will bring “huge benefit” against high unregulated charges in logistics costs, container deposits, and missing empty containers.
The PPA said under the system, importers will have to pay a container deposit insurance and monitoring fee of P980, and an empty container handling service fee of P3,408 compared with almost P30,000 container deposit in the existing system. — DVM, GMA Integrated News