Truckers picket PPA for TOP-CRMS recall


THE Alliance of Concerned Truck Owners and Organizations (ACTOO) staged a rally in front of the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) offices on Tuesday, calling for the revocation of the Trusted Operator Program-Container Registry and Monitoring System (TOP-CRMS).

ACTOO VP Rina Papa called the TOP-CRMS a burden to the Filipino people, claiming that the PPA is only talking to “fake leaders” of maritime and transport stakeholders.

“We call for the revocation of the TOP-CRMS as it is only a burden to the Filipino people. Only the PPA wants that policy,” she said. “It is our right to stage this noise barrage to air our concerns against this policy.”

PPA General Manager Jay Daniel Santiago noted that his office welcomes dialogues with all stakeholders, but noted that the protests caused congestion in the already-busy port area in Manila.

“We already had a hearing at the Senate about this; why don’t we wait for the decision, especially since this policy has been deferred already,” he said.

The program, he noted, has yet to be implemented.

“The PPA is open to the possibility that the TOP-CRMS will not be implemented. However, we believe that the decades-old problem of importers, truckers, and customs brokers will continue to persist if this does not push through,” he said. The TOP-CRMS is the digital transformation program of the PPA.

Under TOP-CRMS, only container deposit insurance and monitoring fee worth P980 and P3,408 empty container handling service fee must be paid by importers, compared to almost P30,000 container deposit that must be paid in the current existing system.

The TOP-CRMS was supposed to be pilot-tested at the international ports in the Port of Manila, namely South Harbor and Manila International Container Terminal and only for foreign inbound containers.

Shiptek Solutions won the contract to implement the P980-million TOP-CRMS.

The program is expected to generate as much as 84 percent savings for importers, shippers, truckers, and customs brokers, Santiago said, noting that if the system was implemented in 2022, they could have only paid P1 billion for 1.1 million inbound containers, instead of P23 billion.