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THE PHILIPPINE PORTS AUTHORITY

I. HISTORY1

Prior to the creation of PPA, port administration in the Philippines was merged with the traditional function of revenue collection of the Bureau of Customs (BOC). Port and harbor maintenance was the responsibility of the Bureau of Public Works (BPW). In the early 1970's, there were already 591 national and municipal ports plus 200 private ports scattered all over the country necessitating the need for long-range planning and rationalization of port development.

There was an identified need to integrate and coordinate port planning, development, operations and regulation at the national level. Around this time, the Bureau of Customs had proposed to the Reorganization Committee and to Congress the creation of a separate government agency to integrate the functions of port operations, cargo handling and port development and maintenance to enable the Bureau to concentrate on tax and customs duties collection. Moreover, the World Bank, as a condition for the grant of a port development loan in 1973, stipulated the creation of a port authority to oversee the implementation of projects under that loan.

Realizing that the establishment and operation of port authorities in other countries led to improved port operations, it was felt that the same benefits could be derived with a national port authority to administer and manage the country's ports. Hence, the Philippine Ports Authority was created under Presidential Decree No. 505 which was subsequently amended by P.D. No. 857 in December 1975. The latter decree broadened the scope and functions of the PPA to facilitate the implementation of an integrated program for the planning, development, financing, operation and maintenance of ports or port districts for the entire country. In 1978, the charter was further amended by Executive Order No. 513 the salient features of which were the granting of police authority to the PPA, the creation of a National Ports Advisory Council (NPAC) to strengthen cooperation between the government and the private sector, and the empowering of the Authority to exact reasonable administrative fines for specific violations of its rules and
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http://www.ppa.com.ph/, Feb. 28, 2013

regulations. By virtue of its charter, the PPA was attached to what was then the Ministry of Public Works and Highways (MPWH) which also served as the executing agency for all port construction projects. Under this set-up, PPA prepared the general plans, programs and project priorities while the MPWH was responsible for detailed engineering, actual construction and/or supervision of port construction projects

The PPA was subsequently removed from under the jurisdiction of the MPWH (DPWH) and attached to what is now the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) for policy and program coordination. Subsequently, by virtue of Executive Order No. 159, which was issued in 1987, the PPA is now vested with the function of undertaking all port construction projects under its port system, relieving DPWH of this responsibility. The executive order also granted PPA financial autonomy.

II.

FUNCTIONS Presidential Decree No. 8572 was enacted by President Ferdinand Marcos on December

23, 1975 to address the need to integrate and coordinate port planning, development, control and operations at the national level, and at the same time promote the growth of regional port bodies responsive to the needs of their individual localities.3 It enabled the Philippine Ports Authority to exercise all the proper powers and functions of a port authority in order to better carry out its desired objectives.

It is the policy of the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) to implement an integrated program for the planning, development, financing, and operation of Ports or Port Districts for the entire country in accordance with the following objectives:

P.D. 857, Providing For The Reorganization Of Port Administrative And Operation Functions In The Philippines, Revising Presidential Decree No. 505 Dated July 11, 1974, Creating The Philippine Port Authority, By Substitution, And For Other Purposes 3 Ibid.

1. To coordinate, streamline, improve, and optimize the planning, development, financing, construction, maintenance and operation of Ports, port facilities, port physical plants, all equipment used in connection with the operation of a Port.

2. To ensure the smooth flow of waterborne commerce passing through the country's Ports whether public or private, in the conduct of international and domestic trade.

3. To promote regional development through the dispersal of industries and commercial activities throughout the different regions.

4. To foster inter-island seaborne commerce and foreign trade.

5. To redirect and reorganize port administration beyond its specific and traditional functions of harbor development and cargo handling operations to the broader function of total port district development, including encouraging the full and efficient utilization of the Port's hinterland and tributary areas.

6. To ensure that all income and revenues accruing out of dues, rates, and charges for the use of facilities and services provided by the Authority are properly collected and accounted for by the Authority, that all such income and revenues will be adequate to defray the cost of providing the facilities and services (inclusive of operating and maintenance cost, administration and overhead) of the Port Districts, and to ensure that a reasonable return on the assets employed shall be realized.4

Accordingly, to be able to carry out its policies and objectives, PPA is also given the following powers and duties:

1.

To formulate in coordination with the National Economic and Development Authority a comprehensive and practicable Port Development plan for the State and

Ibid., Sec. 2, Article II

to program its implementation, renew and update the same annually in coordination with other national agencies.

2.

To supervise, control, regulate, construct, maintain, operate, and provide such facilities or services as are necessary in the ports vested in, or belonging to the Authority.

3.

To prescribe rules and regulations, procedures, and guidelines governing the establishment, construction, maintenance, and operation of all other ports, including private ports in the country.

4.

To license, control, regulate, supervise any construction or structure within any Port District.

5.

To provide services (whether on its own, by contract, or otherwise) within the Port Districts and the approaches thereof, including but not limited to

berthing, towing, mooring, moving, slipping, or docking any vessel; loading or discharging any vessel; sorting, weighing, measuring, storing, warehousing, or otherwise handling goods.

6.

To exercise control of or administer any foreshore rights or leases which may be vested in the Authority from time to time.

7.

To coordinate with the Bureau of Lands or any other government agency or corporation, in the development of any foreshore area.

8.

To control, regulate, and supervise pilotage and the conduct of pilots in any Port District.

9.

To provide or assist in the provision of training programs and training facilities for its staff or staff of port operators and users for the efficient discharge of its functions, duties, and responsibilities.

10. To acquire, purchase, own, lease, mortgage, sell, or otherwise dispose of any land, port facility, wharf, quay, or property of any kind, whether movable or immovable.

11. To exercise the right of eminent domain, by expropriating the land or areas surrounding the Port of harbor, which in the opinion of the Authority, are vital or necessary for the total development of the Port District.

12. To levy dues, rates, or charges for the use of the premises, works, appliances, facilities, or for services provided by or belonging to the Authority, or any other organization concerned with port operations.

13. To reclaim, excavate, enclose, or raise any part of the lands vested in the Authority.

14. To dredge or provide dredging services, within a Port District of elsewhere.

15. To acquire any undertaking affording or intending to afford facilities for the loading and discharging or warehousing of goods in the Port Districts.5

Also, in line with the provisions of Sections 30 and 40 of P.D. 857, the Authority shall have the power of supervision, regulation and jurisdiction over the administration, development and operations of municipal ports for the purpose of implementing an integrated program of port planning, maintenance, development and operation of all ports throughout the country.6

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Ibid., Sec. 6, Article IV Sec. 110, Article IX, PPA Admin. Order 13-77