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PPA unveils plan to extend TABS in domestic terminal



The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) intends to expand the implementation of the Terminal Appointment Booking System (TABS) to cover all Manila ports.

PPA assistant general manager for operations Hector Miole, in a text message to PortCalls, said the PPA Board has decided to implement TABS in domestic terminal Manila North Harbor and in bulk and breakbulk terminal Harbour Centre.

PPA Commercial Services Department manager Emma Suzara, in an interview with PortCalls after a public consultation July 26 on TABS penalties, said the Board intends to have one TABS system for all of Manila ports.

“What the Board wants is that what is implemented at foreign ports would have to be implemented at the domestic (ports) because they’re only using one road network and this is supposed to be a holistic approach, not just inside the port but the road itself,” Suzara explained.

TABS, a web-based booking system for trucks going to and coming out of the port, has been in place for almost two years at Manila’s two international terminals-Manila South Harbor and Manila International Container Terminal (MICT).

Manila North Harbor Port, Inc. (MNHPI) chief executive officer Richard Barclay, in a meeting on July 26 to inform stakeholders of PPA’s plan, said they received a letter from PPA to attend a meeting and was then directed to execute a terminal appointment booking system, preferably using the system of 1-Stop Connections

Pty Ltd, the Australian-based freight and logistics solutions firm that created TABS for the international terminals.

Barclay said they have met with 1-Stop so they could better understand the system but that no agreement has been reached just yet.

Harbour Centre Port Terminal, Inc. (HCPTI) general manager Ferdinand Valdez told PortCalls in a text message they received a memo from PPA directing the port operator of Harbour Centre to adopt TABS.

Valdez said “their (PPA) major intention is to properly manage truck traffic going to port area.”

“Majority of trucks from Harbour (Centre) pass through C3 and NLEX (North Luzon Expressway) so it makes sense to regulate the traffic at our port also,” he added.

Valdez said HCPTI has met with 1-Stop and is now undertaking a gap analysis since the terminal is currently implementing its own booking system called Unified Port Operation Real-time Technology (U-PORT).

“But just in case we use it (TABS), they (stakeholders) will still be using U-PORT at the frontend. U-PORT and TABS will talk at the backend,” he added.

Asked if the system will mean additional costs for the terminal operator and its clients and stakeholders, Valdez said “definitely yes,” as it will entail a monthly charge for HCPTI and a fee for trucks.

Stakeholders at North Harbor, however, voiced opposition to the planned implementation of TABS in the domestic terminal.

While some stakeholders agreed that the concept of TABS is good, they noted peculiarities in North Harbor that should be considered.

Philippine Liner Shipping Association (PLSA), during the MNHPI consultation, said there is no reason to implement TABS in North Harbor, where there is no immediate threat of port congestion. The 2014 port congestion triggered the rollout of TABS.

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