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MARINA: Several shipping companies may increase rates due to fuel price hikes

Several shipping companies may increase their rates due to the successive fuel price hikes, the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) said Monday.

In a Super Radyo dzBB interview, MARINA administrator Robert Empedrad explained that in the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, they requested the ship owners not to increase their rates, to which they abided with.

However, the recent fuel price hikes are already causing a big impact on their shipping business, he added.

“Hindi sila nag-increase for two years. Pero ‘yung fuel increase kasi, ‘yung fuel it’s around 40-50% operational cost nila eh, gastos nila. So ang laki ng dagok sa kanila no’n. So ngayon, matagal nang may increase ng fuel pero lately lang sila nag-increase ng pamasahe,” he said.

(They did not increase for two years. But with the fuel increase, the fuel has become around 40-50% of their operational cost. This is a big blow at them. So now, there has been an increase in fuel for a long time but they have only recently increased their fare.)

With deregulation, Empedrad noted that some companies are set to increase by P25 to P50. He however said that they will still call out those who will increase their rates by 100% as it will also greatly affect the passengers.

“Ang sa 'min, titignan lang namin kung excessive, but again it’s still deregulated. Wala din kaming magagawa diyan, but to continuously engage with ship owners na ‘wag naman sila magtaas ng excessive,” he said.

(We’ll just check if it’s excessive, but again it’s still deregulated. We can’t do anything about it but to continuously engage with ship owners and ask them not to excessively raise their prices.)

President Rodrigo Duterte recently approved providing a P200 monthly cash aid or "ayuda" instead for poor households for an entire year to ease the impact of fuel price hikes.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III on Tuesday admitted that the amount of P200 monthly for a year for poor households might not be enough but he pointed out that this is what the government can afford to provide as of this time. —KG, GMA News