Philippines Ports Authority (ppa) To Waive Some Port Fees For Shipping Companies And Provide Returning Seafarers With Free Covid-19 Testing

Department of Transportation (DOTr) through The Philippine Ports Authority is going to waive collection of some port fees for shipping companies / operators, and will provide returning seafarers with free coronavirus (COVID-19) testing starting 1 December following the provisions of Republic Act No. 11494, or the “Bayanihan to Recover as One Act" (Bayanihan 2).

According to Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) total of P250 million will be utilized  as financial assistance to subsidize the fees to be collected from domestic shipping owners, specifically, dockage (domestic) and lay-up fee (domestic). 

Shipping companies/operators availing of the financial aid should be a holder of a valid Certificate of Public Convenience, Provisional Authority, or Special Permit (SP) issued by the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA). Those with pending applications for accreditation are also eligible, unless application has been denied by PPA. The financial assistance would be on a ‘first come, first served', per vessel and per transaction bases.

Another P270 million will be used to fund free COVID-19 testing of returning Filipino seafarers ,only inbound or returning Filipino seafarers who have disembarked through Philippine ports and airports are entitled to avail of the free COVID-19 testing, as covered by the Bayanihan 2 fund. This will be conducted by a service provider to be sourced by the PPA.

Department of Transportation  Secretary Arthur P. Tugade said the financial assistance, in the form of the waived fees and free COVID-19 testing, will be of great help to maritime workers who were greatly affected by the economic downturn.

Philippine Ports Authority General Manager Jay Daniel Santiago said "We are grateful for the support coming from our beloved President Rodrigo Duterte for the allocation of funds to the critically-impacted maritime sector. Ever since the COVID-19 broke out, our maritime workers have been vital to keep the economy thriving. They are also considered as frontline workers during these challenging times and so we will implement this as soon as possible"

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