The government and the private sector must now address the problems hounding the Philippine supply chain industry, an official of the Department of Transportation and Communications said.
Transportation and Communications Undersecretary Julianito Bucayan Jr. told delegates at the recently concluded 8th Ports and Shipping Conference in Manila that a sound and harmonious relationship between the government and the private sector is key if the Philippines aims to become a major player in global shipping and shipbuilding.
“One of the good examples of a good government and private sector partnership is (on) the issue of port congestion, wherein both sectors agreed to sacrifice certain aspects of their operations to solve port congestion,” Bucayan said.
“As we continue to move forward, both the government and the private sector agreed to continue to give timely solutions in order to prevent such situation to happen again,” Bucayan added.
“We believe that if government and the private sector have a sound relationship, we can easily address issues of trade bottlenecks not only in the Philippines but also in the BIMP-EAGA as it offers very good growth areas now and in the future,” Bucayan added.
PPA General Manager Juan C. Sta. Ana, for his part, echoed the position of the DOTC official.
“This Ports and Shipping Conference will tackle and open up new trends and opportunities in the ports and shipping sector and PPA is fully committed to achieve those trends and opportunities,” Sta. Ana said.
“Government and private sector partnership is vital, particularly as we gear towards green and sustainable port operations as well as adopting best practices and norms of today towards a fully revolutionized port operations,” Sta. Ana added.
The sound partnership between the government and the private sector is evident in terms of port utilization at the Manila South Harbor and the Manila International Container Terminal continue to dwindle down to normal levels.
As of Friday, utilization is at 76.5 percent or approximately 62,300 twenty-foot equivalent units in both ports.
This is 3.5 percentage points down from the 80 percent target set by the Cabinet Cluster on Port Congestion. Yard utilization level has been hovering around 75 percent to 79 percent since the Papal visit in January, according to PPA data.
The number of vessels waiting at pilot station also declined to five, excluding the approximately 10 ships at berth, while vessel turnaround time remains at two days and the average yard productivity for both ports is 18 moves per hour per crane, PPA data also show.
“The continued decline in the utilization level of the Manila ports is a clear manifestation of a healthy government and private sector partnership,” Sta. Ana said.