MANILA, Philippines - The government is being urged to carefully study the proposal to divert cargo shipments to Subic Bay Freeport and Batangas port, as a way to ease congestion at the Port of Manila.
Philippine Ports Authority general manager Juan Sta. Ana said the government should study the impact of transferring cargo shipments to Subic and Batangas ports, as proposed by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
"It's a way to go forward. While our move is to decongest Metro Manila, we should study on how to properly divert these cargoes to Subic and Batangas," he said.
Earlier, Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said the government is looking at Subic and Batangas as alternative ports to decongest the Port of Manila.
However, port operators, led by ICTSI, are opposing the move, saying moving cargo shipments to Subic and Batangas would make the cost of shipping more expensive.
However, Sta. Ana noted JICA's recommendations should be assessed based on its impact on exporters, importers, trucking businesses and warehouse.
Data from the PPA showed cargo volume shipped in and out of the Philippines went up 1.8% to 181.49 million metric tons in 2012, from 178.28 million metric tons in 2011.