Philippine Coast Guard Takes Control of Ports

Seafarers and passengers of commercial ships approaching seaports in the Philippines should not be surprised when they see armed government personnel.

The Philippine government through the Department of Transportation has ordered the Philippine Coast Guard to take over security operations in all 1,600 public and private ports throughout the country.

The ports were previously under the control of the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) and Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), and the Coast Guard now has the power to arrest and detain people, cargo and vessels violating Philippine laws and can file the charges in court.

http://www.maritime-executive.com/article/philippine-coast-guard-takes-control-of-ports

Hikes in container cargo tariffs worry balikbayan box senders – via Inquirer Globalnation

SAN MATEO, California – While the proposed inspection of balikbayan boxes entering the Philippines has been shelved as a result of global protests from OFWs, increased tariff charges on cargo container shipments have stirred less controversy.

While the Philippine Bureau of Customs clarified that individual balikbayan boxes won’t be taxed, it’s not clear if  increased levies on the cargo containers they are shipped in will remain.

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