Recent report published in newspapers and some were posted in Facebook claimed that the Bureau of Customs (BOC), Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ), Bureau of Immigration (BI) and other service providers are raking in income from so-called facilitations fees.
Figures presented in these reports showed that costs related to crew change operations is higher by about 25 % in Capinpin Port than the Port of Manila.
If total crew change costs in Manila amounted to about $14,850, the costs at Port Capinpin totaled to more than over $20,300, a difference of about $5,500. This does not include port dues and anchorage fees.
General Manager Atty. Jay Santiago of the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) earlier announced a 50% reduction of port dues and other changes at Port Capainpin to encourage foreign ships to divert to the Bataan port to carry out crew change.
Ms. Cristina Garcia, president of the newly formed Association of Licensed Manning Agencies (ALMA), PPA Orion in Bataan is already looking into these reports.
She admitted, however, that some shipowners, who opted to replace their crew at the Bataan port, had fallen victims to these alleged corrupt practices at Capinpin port.
“It is true that one of the principals who had their crew change in Capinpin was charged excessively by a port agent. Therefore, the disbursement should be explained by the port agent,” the ALMA president said.
She added that the allegations that BI, BoQ and BoC overpriced their services is not yet proven.
“I hope they will be given an opportunity to air their sides. It will be better if the involved port agent would explain,” Ms. Garcia said, but declined to identify the suspected agent.