Is Almendras deaf or simply stubborn?


There is still no respite at the Manila ports from container van congestion as fear of shortage and the skyrocketing of prices of commodities, are now being felt by the consumers.

Aduana Business Club (ABC) Pres. Mary Zapata said the lifting of the Manila truck ban is not sufficient to solve the problem of congestion at the South Harbor and the Manila International Container Port (MICP).

Zapata said the Bureau of Customs (BOC) must loosen its strict policy on incoming cargoes to ease the piling up of arriving containers at the said ports.

“Since the arrival of (BOC) Commissioner Sunny Sevilla, more and more containers vans are subjected for inspection everyday. However, these containers will not be inspected right away but are just stacked in one corner for days or weeks,” Zapata explained.

Zapata said this is the primary reason the two ports are congested, as more and more ships are lined up at the Manila Bay waiting for their turn to unload their cargoes but could not do so because the two international ports are packed right now.

She clarified that they have relayed this problem to Sec. Jose Almendras ever since the problem began, but the official has failed to address the said issue, insisting, instead, that it’s the truck ban that caused the congestion.

Almendras was tasked by Malacanang to resolve the port congestion problem that started sometime in July and has caused losses of hundreds of millions of pesos not only to the government but also on the importers and brokers.

“Unless Almendras tells the BOC to ease up on their stringent measures at the pier, the congestion will continue way beyond 2014,” Zapata warns.

“Any darn fool can make something simple complex…”, goes a saying that will best describe the officials at BOC.

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Has Roxas finally now focused on fighting crime?

Due to the increase in criminality in Metro Manila, four police directors in the metropolis were booted out of office for reportedly being inefficient in resolving this problem.

Interior and Local Government Sec. Mar Roxas said enough time was given to these officers to contain the rising crimes in their respective areas, yet they failed.

Roxas stressed that the recent shakeup in the PNP National Regional Command is just the start, for a new perspective and new leadership to combat criminality not only in Metro Manila but in the entire country as well.

A police official, who is a friend of mine and requested anonymity, said the DILG secretary was bothered because of the high incidence of crimes recently, some even involving PNP personnel.

“Nadismaya si Sec. Roxas dahil sunod-sunod yung involvement ng mga police sa krimen, at walang magawa ang mga hepe nila kung kaya nakialam na ito”, said my PNP officer friend.

The DILG secretary is known to be the point man of Malacañang to inspect and assess areas before and after every calamity or disaster that he spent little time in the past supervising and monitoring the PNP.

Roxas, in a radio interview Thursday over at Radyo 5, said more changes would be made in the PNP leadership if the commanders continue to fail to do their jobs.

“We will not stop here. We will continue to monitor their performance, and if they come up short, then we have to infuse new perspective and leadership to contain this problem of criminality,” said Roxas.

I hope this is not just another lip service, Mr. Secretary??!!


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