13 JULY 2020, MANILA—The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) on Monday launches its electronic-payment portal (EPP) in its bid to digitize the collection of port charges to reduce face-to-face transaction and comply with the ‘new normal’ scheme due to the prevalence of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The EPP, designed and developed by in-house technology and online platform experts, is a major upgrade of the existing system of the PPA, which is slowly being put into place since 2018.
The e-payment portal will house and host all payment systems of ports under the control of the PPA and seamlessly connect it through a number of government and commercial banks joining the program as well as non-bank institutions for a variety of online payment modes such as payment centers, credit cards, and debit cards.
PPA has inked a Memorandum of Agreement with the Land Bank of the Philippines to host the interconnection of the different banks for the e-payment portal. Participating banks, mostly from the Bancnet umbrella, include Robinson’s Bank, UnionBank, Rizal Commercial Banking Corp., Asia United Bank, BPI Direct BanKo, CTBC Bank, Citystate Savings Bank, Development Bank of the Philippines, Enterprise Bank, Entrepreneur Bank, Equicom Savings Bank, Luzon Development Bank, MASS SPECC, Malayan Bank, Overseas Filipino Bank, PBCom, Philippine Business Bank, Philippine Veterans Bank, Philtrust Bank, Sterling Bank of Asia, Sun Savings Bank, and Wealth Bank.
PPA General Manager Jay Daniel R. Santiago said the e-payment portal has been in the pipeline and is continuously being improved but its completion and implementation were fasttracked due to the spread of the Coronavirus Disease pandemic as it limits person-to-person transaction to stop the spread of the disease.
“We are really keen on automating our collection of port charges to reduce face-to-face transactions, thus, boosting the integrity of our process,” Santiago said.
“This scheme now allows payment of transactions anytime and anywhere electronically,” Santiago stressed.
“All port users can access this facility using their access credentials as required by the agency,” Santiago added.
Under this scheme, the EPP will be the central portal for doing electronic exchanges specifically for payment of port transactions. The EPP is integrated with PPA’s legacy application as well as its online systems such as the Electronic Accreditation System (eAS), Electronic Permit Management System (ePMS) and Internet-based Port Operations and Receipting for Terminals System (iPORTS).
It is also linked to the Cargo Handling Operators’ online systems depending on which port the client will transact. The portal can be accessed at http://epaymentportal.ppa.com.ph.
Initially, the system will be available already to Manila- and Batangas-based transactions and will be eventually rolled out to the different ports nationwide.
Aside from the e-payment portal for port fees and other related charges, the PPA is also in the process of completing its automated passenger ticketing system. When implemented, it will centralize the booking and payment of passenger tickets, thus, preventing overbooking and overloading resulting in safer sea travel.
“This is your PPA working for the benefit of the sea-traveling public, cargo owners, and other stakeholders. Digital technology is the future and the PPA is making sure that we are at par with our foreign counterparts and trading partners,” Santiago said.