THE Anti-Red Tape Authority (Arta) said the Philippine Ports Authority’s (PPA) proposal to hike storage fees for foreign containerized cargo would have to undergo an assessment that would ensure that the regulation being implemented by the government agency is not burdensome to the public.
“Of course with that recommendation, [our constant response every time there is a proposed increase by way of a regulation, is that it must undergo a Regulatory Impact Assessment],” Arta Secretary Ernesto Perez told reporters, speaking partly in Filipino, on the sidelines of the Ease of Doing Business (EODB) Convention on Wednesday. He was asked if the planned hike on the port fees should undergo the Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA).
The Arta chief underscored that it is part of the anti-red tape watchdog’s mandate to require the Philippine Ports Authority to subject to an RIA any proposed regulation to increase fees.
“It should undergo a Regulatory Impact Assessment; it’s the mandate of the Arta to require the Philippine Ports Authority to subject any proposed regulation to increase fees to conduct Regulatory Impact Assessment,” Perez said.
Perez defined RIA as a “scientific tool that will ensure that any regulation being implemented by any government agency does not unduly burden the people and the people will expect much faster, much better services.”
In a position letter signed by its president Sergio R. Ortiz-Luis, Jr. dated November 8.2023, the Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc. (Philexport) called for an analysis of the impact on port users of the proposed increase in storage charges for foreign containerized cargoes at all PPA ports.
In an earlier statement by the Philexport, Ortiz-Luis recommended that the planned rate hike undergo a RIA as a “standard operating procedure” under the Ease of Doing Business (EODB) Law.
The Philexport chief said this is to “prevent causing undue regulatory harm that might arise from higher charges.”
“As proposed, we are already seeing the immediate harm they will cause to shippers and the economy in general,” the letter, dated November 8, 2023 and addressed to PPA general manager Jay Daniel R. Santiago, also noted.
While Perez said he has not yet received a “formal request,” he stressed that, “I assure the public that once we receive it, or once we get into the details of it, we will act on it right away.”
Under the Ease of Doing Business Law, all proposed regulations of government agencies shall undergo regulatory impact assessment to “establish if the proposed regulation does not add undue regulatory burden and cost” to the agencies and applicators or requesting parties.