Shifting cargo traffic to Batangas port may be a potential solution to looming heavy traffic in Metro Manila caused by ongoing major road constructions according to Rep. Raneo Abu of Batangas second district.
Abu said the Bureau of Customs (BOC) should seriously consider this option to lessen the volume of large trucks travelling the major thoroughfares of Metro Manila.
“If BOC issues an administrative order stating that all Calabarzon bound shipments will only be processed in Batangas port then the cargo volume will naturally shift there,” the lawmaker said.
He added that the BOC office in Batangas is so far the only Customs office in the country that is ISO certified, proving its world-class capability to handle and process shipment transactions.
Last year the Port of Batangas was granted ISO 9001:2008, a certification for quality management systems and instituting world-class management system standards.
According to June 2013 data the International Container Terminal Services Inc. submitted to the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) and the Department of Justice, 66 percent of cargo volume that pass through the Manila International Container Terminal are bound for Calabarzon.
Laguna bound shipment accounted for 43 percent of the total cargo in 2012 with shipments bound for San Pedro, Santa Rosa, Canlubang and Calamba. The province of Batangas accounted for 15 percent and Cavite the remaining eight percent.
“In our last committee hearing, PPA reported a mere four-percent utilization of the Batangas container terminal. This gross underutili–zation of a facility built using a P5.5-billion loan from the Japanese government is an injustice to the government due to loss of revenue and the people of Batangas as they are deprived of livelihood opportunities,” Abu expressed.
Batangas Port is located 110 kilometers from Metro Manila and has a total area of 150 hectares. With its modern facilities and adequate road infrastructure from Manila to Batangas, Abu believes there is no excuse for locators not to use what is dubbed as the most modern international port South of Luzon.