On Tacloban Port as a ‘Milking Cow’
Editorial

On Tacloban Port as a ‘Milking Cow’

Nov 22, 2021, 5:37 AM
OpinYon Editorial

OpinYon Editorial

Writer

IT was proper for the business sector in Tacloban City to express outrage over the exorbitant increase in tariffs on all cargoes coming through the Tacloban port.

Recently and without notice, the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) in Tacloban, thru its new port service contractor and partner Global Port, has imposed an immensely high surge in tariff, and the affected local businessmen called the untimely development an immoral “money-making scheme” that will significantly harm the local economy. Rather than getting offended, PPA has a lot of explaining to do why they’re suspected of making the Tacloban Port their “milking cow”.

Indeed, a sudden 360% to 401% tariff upsurge is no doubt “outrageous”, and highly “exorbitant”. Its sudden implementation will affect Taclobanons and Leytenos in general. The monetary burden will just be passed on to the local consumers. Hence, the tariff hike will severely affect the prices of cement, steel, flour, rice, fertilizers, and other commodities in the local market—products that come thru the Tacloban port. The inflationary effect will but be shouldered by the local public consumers. This early, prices of affected commodities will go up with everyone getting eventually affected.

This time, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry PCCI-Tacloban Leyte is indeed facing the uphill challenge: to reverse these precocious and certainly unwanted tariff adjustments. More than their business interest, the business sector should rally together to protect the interest of its consumers. The LGUs and other stakeholders have the responsibility to look into the matter, and perhaps make contravening steps necessary.

If the unheralded tariff change is not an appearance of greed, which must be restrained by all means, then what is it? What good reasons the huge increase was based on and for what? Better port services? It would have been justifiable if the humungous increase was designed to uplift the wages and salaries of the Tacloban port workers, which undoubtfully is not. It’s all for the private corporation’s profit and welfare and never for its workers nor the consuming public.

As expected, the Global Port has just conveniently played the Pontius Pilate role by outrightly placing the responsibility onto PPA. On the other hand, the deliberate disregard of PPA to shed light on the matter despite efforts to get its side will unnecessarily place the agency and its responsible officials as targets of unseemly conjectures they will never like.


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