Philippine Ship Agents Association Calls for Review of Joint Venture Agreement in Subic Bay
The Philippine Ship Agents Association (PSAA) has urged the national government to review the Joint Venture Agreement (JVA) between the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority and Harbour Centre Port Terminal, Inc. According to the PSAA, the agreement could lead to a monopoly of cargo handling services in the Subic Freeport Zone.
In a statement, the PSAA expressed their opposition to the implementation of the JVA and called on the government to reconsider its implementation. They argued that the resulting monopoly would violate existing laws, including the Philippine Constitution which prohibits monopolies and restraints in trade. They also pointed to national laws promoting competition, eliminating red tape, and international best practices ensuring fair prices, quality service, and sectoral improvement.
Beyond concerns of legal violations, the PSAA emphasized the detrimental consequences that the agreement could have on the national and local economy, the shipping and logistics industry, the people of Subic, and the general public. Monopolies, they claimed, reward inefficiency, stifle innovation, drive up business costs, and limit consumer choices.
The association further stated that the JVA had previously been deemed “infirm” and called for authorities to heed their plea and reconsider its implementation. They stressed that it would be the people who would ultimately suffer the profound and long-term consequences of the impending monopoly in Subic Bay, an otherwise thriving economic center.