NEDA: Lift foreign cargo ban at North Harbor

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IN line with the government’s aim to ease port congestion, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) should lift its order prohibiting Manila North Harbor Port Inc. (MNHPI) from handling foreign cargo at the Manila North Harbor.

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This is in accordance with the Duterte administration’s effort to improve the flow of cargo in all ports throughout the country, particularly in the Port of Manila, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said.

“Ports will be improved, mainly equipment in the ports, including [in]Manila,” Pernia, who is also the NEDA director general, told reporters in a recent interview.

However, he said that the PPA’s order prohibiting MNHPI to handle international vessels and cargo at the Manila North Harbor runs counter to this goal.

“PPA prohibits foreign ships in the North Harbor so that prohibition needs to be lifted,” he said.

The PPA has said foreign vessels cannot proceed to Manila North Harbor for purposes of anchorage and/or docking at its berths and unloading their cargoes, among others, because the MNHPI’s contract is for the provision of domestic terminal services only.

The PPA is the government entity in charge of the financing, management, and operations of public ports throughout the Philippine archipelago, while the Manila North Harbor is one of three main government-owned ports that comprise the Port of Manila.

“I think [Department of Transportation] Secretary [Arthur] Tugade said that he will handle the lifting of the prohibition,” Pernia said.

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