Representatives of the Joint Foreign Chambers of the Philippines (JFC) met with Cabinet Secretary Almendras for a briefing on the Terminal Appointment Booking System (TABS) at SMX Convention Center, Pasay City, on January 13, 2016. Panelists include GM Raul Santos, PPA; Bas Hokke, VP for Operations, ATI; Cristian R. Gonzales, SVP & Asia Pacific Region Head, ICTSI; Michael Bouari, Chief Executive Officer, 1-Stop Connection. The briefing was also attended by 50-60 participants from JFC partners and its members as well as port user stakeholders. ANZCHAM was represented by its Policy and Advocacy Specialist, Marj Lumbo.
The Terminal Appointment Booking System (TABS) is a web-based system in which customs brokers, importers, exporters, and cargo owners select the time slot for delivery and withdrawals of cargo. Through this system, clients can pick a time slot as to when their trucks will pick up or deliver containers. The system will be able to tell if the container has been cleared and is ready to be withdrawn.
Cabinet Secretary Almendras announced that the system will be implemented on February 2016. The system was established by an Australian IT Company I-Stop Connections Pty Ltd. The Secretary urged custom brokers, importers, exporters and cargo owners to support the implementation of the system.
The meeting provided an opportunity for both information exchange on implementation of the TABS, and for detailed discussion of the issues that were addressed as part of the development, benefits and usage of the booking system.
The benefits of TABS includes the following: enables planning for appropriate resources due to predictability of volume and schedule; reduces queuing because yard resources are sufficient to serve all trucks; manageable and consistent flow of trucks, which removes the need for truck bans; arms clients with information on their containers; and access to the application through mobile devices. The system does not limit trucks to proceed to the port only during booked hour, but allows them to arrive within a certain timeframe.
A statement was also made by Secretary Almendras against the possible violators of the system. He mentioned that there will be a task force to monitor the violators, and that penalty/punishment will be imposed on them. Secretary Almendras also assured that they will provide helpdesk and customer service hotline numbers to assist the clients on the usage of the system.