21 JUNE 2023, MANILA — The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) clarifies that the collection of P20 service fee at the Matnog Port is not  authorized by PPA after its Port Management Office (PMO) Bicol recently received a series of reports of the unauthorized collection from passengers at the port.

“As far as PPA PMO Bicol is concerned, we have not authorized the collection of P20 from passengers which is deemed as service fee in paying for their terminal fee, ferry and RORO tickets, and LGU regulatory fee at the designated One-Stop-Shop (OSS) area outside Matnog Port,” said PMO Bicol Port Manager Ma. Magnolia S. Requejo.

Current set-up at Matnog Port include the establishment and operationalization of OSS outside the terminal that serves as a designated area where port users settle the necessary payment for their terminal, ferry and LGU fees. This is among the initiatives put in place on February 2021 in collaboration with other government agencies and LGUs for the convenience of the port-using public and ease of doing business.

According to PM Requejo, the unauthorized collection of fees from passengers can also be considered “fixing” as it is not among the regulated processes at the port emphasizing that it should be the bus companies’ duty to take charge in settling their passengers’ statutory fees at the port.

 “Since we avoid the influx of passengers at the OSS, we encourage the bus companies through their conductors, to facilitate the processing for passengers’ payment of fees as they are also the one settling their vehicle’s ferry ticket and RORO terminal fee at the OSS,” PM Requejo added.

Last January 2023, PPA already clarified the issue which likewise prompted for a resolution passed by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Sorsogon that encourages the local government of Matnog to halt the unauthorized collection of P20 from passengers.

As part of its support, the Provincial Government of Sorsogon has initiated the display of posters along the highway going to Matnog Port to advise the public against charging of illegal fees and give caution against fixers.

Meanwhile, PMO Bicol steps up its feedbacking efforts at Matnog Port through the establishment of a complaint desk and drop box to further cater passengers’ queries and concerns. The terminal management office also extends necessary assistance in case a complaint needs to be brought up to police authorities.

Matnog Port is among the busiest terminals under PPA that serves as the main gateway for rolling cargoes and passengers bound for Northern Samar and Cebu which also forms part in the Pan-Philippine Highway – that include paved roads, bridges, and ferries connecting the islands of Luzon, Samar, Leyte, and Mindanao.