Port official calls for swift approval of anti-congestion measure

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 01 2020 11:23 AM | Updated as of Apr 01 2020 11:36 AM

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MANILA -- The government agency in charge of Manila port on Wednesday appealed to finance officials to expedite their review of proposed measures to decongest the terminals.

Officials and stakeholders have warned that Manila port risked shutting down during the COVID-19 quarantine unless the congestion is addressed.

A memorandum that will cut cargo processing time to 7 days from 53 days is being reviewed by the Department of Finance and the Bureau of Customs, Philippine Port Authority General Manager Jay Daniel Santiago told DZMM.

“Finalized na po joint memorandum circular. ito po ay nirereview po sa DOF and BOC. Sana po ay madaliin natin at ng masolusyunan na natin ang problema natin sa pantalan,” Santiago said.

(The joint memorandum circular has been finalized and is currently being reviewed by the DOF and the BOC. I hope they will expedite the review so that we can solve the problem in the port)

The Manila International Container Terminal (MICT) is currently utilizing 96 to 98 percent of its capacity from the ideal 70 percent since the entire island of Luzon was placed on lockdown.

At least 4,000 containers arrive at the port daily. The same number should be moved out but due to reduced workforces and closed warehouses, the number of cargoes leaving the port was reduced to 40 percent, Santiago said.

Santiago appealed to business to claim their shipments so as not to disrupt the supply chain. The port could shut down in 6 to 8 days if the congestion persists, Santiago earlier said.

"Gawin po natin ang mga responsibilidad natin para umandar ulit ang ating supply chain," Santiago said.

(Let's do our responsibility to restart the supply chain)