• Importers urged to move 7,000 containers from Manila ports

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    The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) urged local importers to help ease port congestion through the speedy removal of 7,000 containers from Manila ports.

    “Now that traffic of delivery trucks and vans in Manila City is easing, it is essential that the transport of products to and from the ports and their distributors is fast and frequent to decongest the ports and to provide supplies in the markets for consumers’ purchases,” DTI Undersecretary for Consumer Protection Group Victorio Mario A. Dimagiba said.

    DTI is part of a government committee that develops plans to decongest the ports in Manila. Initially, the DTI urged industries and warehouse owners/operators to cooperate and ensure that their businesses and warehouses are open to accept deliveries at nighttime and weekends.

    In a recent committee meeting, the Department of Finance led the crafting of action plans in order to further reduce the congestion of Manila ports.

    “This time, the Department was tasked to prompt importers with over 7,000 containers to immediately get their containers out from the Manila ports,” Dimagiba said.

    Port congestion is also expected to ease with the new traffic innovations in the City of Manila. Starting June, the local government allowed a 24-hour express trade lane for containerized trailer trucks at the innermost lane of Roxas Boulevard bound south and north to Anda Circle; and at the outermost lane bound south and north from Anda Circle to R-10.

    Meanwhile, in a meeting last Friday, the Bureau of Customs, Philippine Ports Authority, and the port operators International Container Terminal Services, Inc.
    and Asian Terminals, Inc. agreed to prepare their lists of more than 7,000 importers, traders, and distributors that own or rent containers. The DTI will be prompting these importers to bring their containers out of the Manila ports.

    “We anticipate for the flow of goods in the market to normalize in several weeks as truckers manage their deliveries with industries through the express trade lane; and as container owners and operators bring the products out the ports”, Dimagiba said.

    “But it is vital that each sector of this trade cycle cooperates in this endeavor. We have witnessed the effects of these circumstances and the buying public have unfortunately borne the impact, such as low supply and spikes in prices of basic goods,” Dimagiba added.

    The port congestion has also affected the operations of the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA), which accounts for 65 percent of the country’s total commodity exports.

    About 60 percent of the total number of enterprises registered with PEZA is located in the Calabarzon area, which is adjacent to Metro Manila.

    “The reports from Calabarzon that the top two zones for export, one is 12.97 percent negative while the other one is 8.6 percent negative for January to May compared to the same period last year,” said PEZA promotions and public relations manager Elmer H. San Pascual.

    With the traffic and port congestion, PEZA companies slowed down their production, investments, and hiring as the shipment of imported raw materials for manufacturing plants faced delays.

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