Use Batangas port to decongest Manila, lawmaker says

by Ria de Fiesta,

Posted at Feb 26 2014 01:02 AM | Updated as of Feb 26 2014 09:03 AM

MANILA -- Rep. Raneo Abu of the 2nd District of Batangas on Tuesday said using the Port of Batangas is the answer to decongest the Port of Manila and the Manila International Container Port.

Abu, in an interview with dzMM, said that based on a study by the Japanese government, the Batangas port can handle 300,000 20-foot containers a year.

The Port of Manila, he said, is very congested, which is why it is charging shipping companies a port congestion surcharge of P10,000 per container per day.

"Nahihirapan magbaba ang mga shipping companies sa port dahil masyado masikip. Mas makakatipid kung idadaan sa Batangas port. Mababawasan ang congestion sa Metro Manila," he said.

He said 66 percent of shipments which arrive at the Port of Manila are for the Calabarzon area -- 43 percent are for Laguna, 15 percent for Batangas and 8 percent for Cavite.

Abu said that according to PEZA Director General Lilia de Lima, marketing for the Port of Batangas has been aggressive, and locators are willing to use the port to save on costs.

"Mas mura ang cost of business at makakatipid sila. Mas malapit kung sa Batangas port idadaan, at walang problema sa traffic," Abu said.

Asked why he thinks that shippers choose to use the Port of Manila despite the costs, Abu said, "Unang-una nakikita ko, suki-suki yan. Baka itong mga PPA, Customs ay may mga suki na brokerage firms, pati truckers may mga suki na."

He also cited the target collections of the Customs office. "May kanya-kanyang target ang bawat opisina ng Customs. Kung mawawala sa Port of Manila, babagsak ang target nila," he said.

Abu also noted that both the Port of Manila and Batangas port are under one operator, the Asian Terminals Inc.