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Stop Collecting of Service Sees from Bohol's Roro
« on: October 21, 2007, 01:22:28 PM »
published by the Bohol Standard

The Philippine Ro-ro Shipping Association, Inc. has demanded that the municipalities of Loon and Tubigon in Bohol immediately stop collection of service fees on goods and vehicles carried by ro-ro vessels for being patently illegal.

PRSAI president Leonardo Odoño in behalf of the ro-ro operators in his letters addressed to the mayors of Loon and Tubigon, whose vessels call at the said municipal ports stated that they have been receiving complaints from shippers and passengers on the imposition of service fees.

Such imposition was approved by the respective local government units in a municipal ordinance, wherein the PRSAI believes it is beyond the taxing power of LGUs under the Local Government Code.

Section 133 (e) of the LGC does not authorize and LGU to impose taxes, fees or charges on goods carried into or out or passing through, their territorial; jurisdictions in the guise of charges for wharfage, tolls for bridges or other taxes, or fees or charges in any form whatsoever on such goods or merchandise.

“Although the ordinance characterized the imposition as fee on the municipal wharf, it is actually a form of tax which the local government code does not empower an LGU to impose,” the letter reads.

The ro-ro operators added that when President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo launched the Strong Republic Nautical Highway-Ro-ro Transport System Project, which not only link the smaller islands of the country to centers of commerce and trade, she aimed to primarily reduced the cost of transporting goods and passengers by sea to spur economic development in the regions traverse by the nautical highways.

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