PPA extends validity of permits of cargo handling providers

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    The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) has extended the validity of all expired permits to operate cargo handling services until the end of 2020 following the imposition of community quarantines.

    The permits and approvals include holdover authorities to operate cargo handling services as well as other permits, certificates, authorizations issued by the PPA and its Port Management Offices (PMO) nationwide.

    PPA Memorandum Circular 037-2020, signed by Jay Santiago, PPA general manager, also effectively approved all pending applications for accreditation and permits to operate received by the agency and its field offices prior to or after March 15, 2020, but only until Dec. 31, 2020, for the sole purpose of doing business in the ports under PPA jurisdiction.

    PPA, however, advised all affected parties to file an application for extension or renewal by December 31 to avoid the imposition of fines, charges and penalties.

    Meanwhile, PPA has authorized 22 PMOs to operate and accept locally stranded individuals (LSI), returning overseas Filipinos (ROF) and overseas Filipino workers (OFW) as of September 29.

    These include PMO North Luzon, Bataan, National Capital Region South and North, Batangas, Marinduque, Mindoro, Palawan, Masbate, Bicol, Negros Oriental, Panay, Eastern Leyte, Bohol, Negros Occidental, Western Leyte, Misamis Oriental, Lanao del Norte, Agusan, Surigao, Misamis Occidental, Davao, Soccsksargen, Zamboanga del Norte and Zamboanga.

    The list is subject to change, depending on the policies released by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases and concerned local government units, as well as the availability of vessel services calling at the ports.

    At present, a moratorium for LSIs, ROFs and OFWs has been enforced in several ports in Surigao, such as the Baseport of Surigao and Port of Dapa.