05 DECEMBER 2022, MANILA — The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) clears that passengers should not be charged with extra fees at ports after receiving complaints of alleged charging of additional payment amid expected flocking of passengers at terminals during peak season.

On 30 November 2022, several passengers at Matnog Port reported to PPA Port Police the charging of extra Php 20.00 by the third party operator which is currently being investigated according to PMO Bicol Port Manager Ma. Magnolia S. Requejo.

"We have observed the charging of the booking services fee at dawn of November 30, 2022 and almost all buses are apparently charging this to their passengers," said Port Manager Requejo.

"We have discussed this undue charging being done to bus passengers at the port with Provincial Administrator of Sorsogon, Mr. Erick Ravanilla and they said that they are also conducting an investigation on this as they do not approve any extra charges for bus passengers at the port," added Requejo.

According to PPA General Manager Jay Santiago, it is important for passengers to know that such charging of extra fee is not authorized by PPA and that payment on this does not go in anyway to PPA or to the LGU.

"It should be clear to passengers that it is not PPA that charges extra fees to those who are using the port, there is no extra fee that needs to be charged to passengers as port fees are already fixed and we do not add any much on it," said Santiago.

This May 2022, the daily average of passengers at Matnog Port was recorded at 10,000 during the height of the National and Local Elections, higher than the highest number logged since the start of the pandemic with 5,000 daily average passengers in December 2021.

"To the bus passengers who will be using the port, please keep in mind that you should only pay 3 things—first is the Ferry ticket which is your fare, the terminal fee to the PPA, and the environmental fee to the concerned LGU," reminded Santiago.

Port usage is significantly recovering based on Port Statistics of January to October this year from -70.27% growth rate in passenger traffic recorded in 2020. This 2022, the number of recorded passengers at ports nationwide has reached 48.2 million or 108.81% higher than the 23 million or -7.27% growth rate during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021.