THE suspension of pass-through fees with the issue of Executive Order No. 41 is expected to enhance the ease of doing business for exporters and manufacturers.
Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) Director General Tereso O. Panga told reporters last week that the signing of the order is a welcome development as it will help locators.
“It will definitely reduce the cost of logistics, (particularly in) trucking,” Mr. Panga said.
He added that PEZA locators’ shipments typically pass through many local government units (LGUs) to and from the ports.
“Imagine (transporting the goods from) the ports … all the way to the economic zones. And certain LGUs can just impose their tolls on trucks that traverse their jurisdiction,” he said.
The LGUs have “no basis” for charging tolls, he said.
Separately, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry Vice-President for Industry Affairs Ferdinand A. Ferrer said that the suspension of fees had been on the business group’s action agenda.
“It will improve the ease of doing business which exporters and the manufacturers need,” Mr. Ferrer said.
He also said that the fees are “unnecessary” and are ultimately shouldered by consumers.
“(And at the end of the day) we just want ease of doing business; that is what we want,” he added.
On Sept. 25, President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. signed Executive Order No. 41 which prohibited the collection of pass-through fees on national roads and urged LGUs to suspend the collection of any form of fee on all types of vehicles.
Under the Local Government Code of 1991, LGUs have revenue-raising powers which allow them to collect fees.
Section 153 of the Local Government Code allows LGUs to impose and collect reasonable fees and charges for the services rendered.
Meanwhile, Section 155 of the code states that they can impose tolls or charges for the use of any public road, pier, wharf, waterway, bridge, ferry or telecommunication system funded and constructed by the LGU. — Justine Irish D. Tabile