Pangilinan: Keep food prices down, no increases in port tariff

December 6, 2021

SENATOR Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan has joined the ranks of farmers, fisherfolk, local business chambers, and consumers in opposing the “exorbitant” tariff increase being collected by a private port service contractor in the port of Tacloban. 

“Sobra nang pabigat ito sa taumbayan. This would create a domino effect in the supply chain. Imbes na tulungan ng pamahalaan na makabangon ang iba’t-ibang sector at industriya sa gitna ng pandemya ay dinagdagan pa ng tingga sa balikat,” he said. 

Pangilinan, who is strongly advocating for food security and championing the welfare and protection of farmers and fishermen nationwide through his Sagip Saka Law, said any imposition of additional tariff during the period of pandemic is considered “unjust and unnecessary”.

The senator was reacting to reports that the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) has authorized private port service contractor Global Port to exact tariffs that may go up to 300 to 400 percent from the previous rates. 

He said the tariff increase for all shippers will likely lead to spiraling in the prices of food, flour, rice, cement, steel, fertilizers, and other commodities being brought in through Tacloban port.

Pangilinan urged government regulators like the PPA to halt the implementation of the excessive port charges by taking into consideration its economic implication to the local economy in Leyte, particularly in Tacloban which has yet to recover from the devastation of Yolanda more than eight years ago. 

A former food security secretary during the Aquino administration, Pangilinan is the leading opposition candidate for the vice presidency in May 2022 elections.