CPA to probe complaint about overcharging porters

By: Jessa Mae O. Sotto |January 07,2018 - 10:20 PM

CIPRIANA Aballeda, 56, is on her way home to Zamboanga Sibugay province in Mindanao from Manila. She took a boat from Manila to Cebu and would board another boat from Cebu to Mindanao.

Her trip from Manila went well except when she arrived in Cebu and disembarked from the boat asking a porter to carry her luggage made up of three bags.

She was shocked when the porter, who carried her luggage from the boat to the Cebu Port Terminal asked for P300 for his services – a fee of P100 for each bag.

“When we got off from the ship, he asked for a P300 fee. It is too expensive. I tried to negotiate with him to lower his fee, but he said it was their rule and set fee,” Aballeda said in Cebuano.

She said that the porter did not weigh the bags and charged her for each bag he transported.

A porter working in another shipping firm told Cebu Daily News that they would usually weigh the luggage of boarding passengers and charge them with a rate of P2 per kilo.

However, for disembarking passengers, it would be a different process — the passengers and the porters would have to negotiate for the fee of the porter’s services.

He said the collected fee from the passengers would be pooled and divided by his 11 other colleagues.

“What they practice is to negotiate with the passengers for the fee, but actually we have a tariff for that,” he said.

The passengers’ complaints against the porters have reached the Cebu Port Authority (CPA) officials, who had ordered an investigation on the matter.

Lawyer Yusop Uckung, CPA Legal Affairs Department manager, said in a Facebook post that they would look into passengers’ complaints they received about porters overcharging passengers as payment for their services.

Uckung said that there are tariff rates for passengers’ luggage that porters had to follow.

He warned of sanctions for those porters found overcharging the passengers.

They did not follow the recommended rate because they prefer to settle it with the passengers.

“We will call their attention, and if found true, we will cancel his accreditation as a porter,” he said.

He said the rate for each bag depending on its size would vary from P20 to P50.

Uckung said that they will be strict in implementing the fixed rate, and they will be posting copies of the tariffs inside the terminals.

“We will inform the public, and also inform the porters that they should apply the given rate,” he said.

He also said that a list of accredited porters with their photos would be posted also on areas visible to passengers.

“Porters not included in the list shall not be allowed entry into the passenger terminals,” he said on his FB post.

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