PPA gives relief to port lessees, operators amid the ECQ

24 APRIL 2020, MANILA—Lessees and port operators having contracts with the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) can heave a sigh of relief as the agency gives a 30-day reprieve in the payment of rental and concession fees.

The memorandum circular, which was signed on Thursday, is in accordance with the Bayanihan We Heal as One Act encouraging private and government entities to give respite to people as the country continues to reel from the effects of the Coronavirus 2019 pandemic (COVID-19).

Said directive specifically states that all qualified PPA lessees and port operators are granted the payment extension without incurring interests, penalties and other charges thereof. However, a 12% interest and a 25% penalty charge per annum will be imposed on late payment on rental charges and concession fees upon the expiration of the 30-day grace period.

PPA General Manager Jay Daniel Santiago said the grace period shall reckon from the last due date of the rent or concession fee payment falling within the ECQ period.

“This initiative is also part of the ‘Bayanihan sa Pantalan’ as it aims to give the port users and other stakeholders the much-needed relief while the country continues with its struggle from the clutches of COVID-19,” Santiago said.

“This measure is not expected to affect our revenue generation, however, as it merely delays the payment by 30 days,” Santiago explained.

“We will calibrate this measure as we go along with our fight with the dreaded disease,” Santiago added.

The agency is continuously looking for ways to further support the government in its anti-COVID-19 drive and in effect help the country rebound faster from the effect of the pandemic.

On Tuesday, PPA formally turned over the Eva Macapagal Super Terminal Bayanihan We Heal as One COVID-19 Treatment Center to the control of the Philippine Coast Guard and start treating persons infected with the virus.

PPA has likewise issued a marching order to all its Port Management Offices to continue giving relief items to affected port workers and personnel, as well as its nearby port community to help them survive this national health emergency.

“PPA, with the guidance of DOTr, is your partner in this situation. We never stop looking for ways in order to help government contain the spread of the virus. We are doing our share and we are encouraging the public to do the same by just staying safe by staying home,” Santiago said.