November 29, 2023

TWG to study bills separating regulatory, oversight roles of PPA

THE House Committee on Government Enterprises and Privatization chaired by Parañaque City Rep. Edwin Olivarez, in a joint meeting with the House Committee on Transportation chaired by Antipolo City Rep. Romeo Acop, on Monday formed a Technical Working Group (TWG) to further discuss House Bills 1400 and 8055, which seek to separate the regulatory and commercial functions of the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA). 

BH Partylist Rep. Bernadette Herrera, author of HB 1400, noted PPA’s conflicting interests, since the authority has both oversight and regulatory roles. 

“Iyong principle of competitive neutrality dictates that when government goes into business, it should not have any undue advantage over private sector competitors. And this is something that we are not doing right now, so we have to address the situation Mr. Chairs,” she said. 

The measures seek to convert the PPA into Philippine Ports Corporation for development, management and operation of public ports within its system, and transferring the regulatory functions to the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA). 

Bulacan Rep. Salvador Pleyto was tasked to head the TWG. 

The panel also briefly tackled HB 291, also known as the “Charter of the Bacolod City Ports Authority.” Stakeholders and resource persons have yet to hand in their position papers pertaining to the filed measure. The bill is authored by Bacolod City Rep. Greg Gasataya.