Biz groups still opposing PPA order after tweaks


MAJOR business groups in the Philippines have reiterated their opposition to a policy which details the container monitoring policy of the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), which has recently been recommended for pilot implementation by the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA), subject to validation.

The Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc., in a statement posted on its social media page, announced that ARTA Secretary Ernesto V. Perez with his team, met with major business groups in the country, including PHILEXPORT and Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) to discuss issues in the PPA Administrative Order (AO) 04-2021.

The stakeholders asserted that despite the amendments made by the PPA in the provisions, “the major issues—unnecessary extra costs and time to process—remain.”

With this, the business groups said they disagree with the pilot implementation of the policy, as this “will surely result in port congestion.”

In a statement released by ARTA on March 8, the anti-red tape watchdog announced that upon the result of its evaluation of the PPA’s Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) on Administrative Order 04-2021, the said policy garnered a score of 36 out of 40 or a “Good Practice” rating.

With this, ARTA said in its letter to PPA that “as part of Section 8 of the RIS or the Monitoring and Evaluation Plan, the PPA has signified that the Implementing Operational Guidelines will be subjected to a pilot implementation and will be amended accordingly to address any issues and concerns that may arise.”

ARTA provides ratings on the quality of analysis in the submitted RIS, which are categorized according to the RIS score: Best Practice (40), Good Practice (30-39), Satisfactory RIS (24-29), and Insufficient RIS (8-23).

Prior to PPA obtaining a Good Practice rating from ARTA, the anti-red tape watchdog noted that PPA went through a Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA).  The RIA is anchored on Section 5 of Republic Act 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018.

The provision, ARTA said, “mandates that all proposed regulations of covered government offices shall undergo a Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) to ensure that these will not add undue burden and cost to stakeholders and to avoid overlapping regulations.”

Moreover, it states that, when necessary, any proposed regulation may undergo pilot implementation to assess regulatory impact subject to the clearance of the heads of agencies.

Under Section 17 of the EODB law, the anti-red tape watchdog explained that it also has the power and functions to review proposed major regulations of government agencies using submitted RIS subject to proportionality rules, provide recommendations to improve regulatory management and provide technical assistance and advisory opinions in the review of proposed national or local legislation, regulations or procedures.

Pursuant to this, ARTA recommended that the PPA conduct a full RIA and submission of a Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) on Administrative Order 04-2021 or the Policy on the Registration and Monitoring of Containers covering containers originating from foreign ports that will be unloaded at government and/or private ports under the administrative jurisdiction of the PPA.

ARTA said it received the RIS from the PPA last January 30.

According to ARTA, “the RIA helps policymakers, like the PPA, to examine the impacts and consequences of different policy options and enables them to form a sound decision based on their understanding on whether a proposed regulation will achieve its policy objectives.”

PCCI and Philexport were among the trade, industry and transport and logistics groups that issued a solidary statement since May 2022 seeking the “immediate revocation” of the policy, as it “treatens to cripple the transport and logistics industries and the national economy as a whole.”

Moreover, in a statement last January 26, 2023, these major stakeholders said implementation of the order will “result in an almost 50 percent increase in the logistics cost of imported goods.”