Release of cargoes from Manila port to slow on Holy Week, authorities say

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 08 2020 08:30 AM

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MANILA - The release of container vans from Manila port is expected to slow during the Holy Week holiday, authorities said Wednesday.

Cargo release will proceed on Maundy Thursday, stop on Good Friday and resume on Black Saturday, Philippine Ports Authority General Manager Jay Santiago said.

"Bagamat tutumal po yan, may mga barko po tayong naka-schedule na magdidskarga pa rin po so nakikita po natin na 4 na araw na walang pull out yan o matumal pero yun pong unloading natin 100 percent pa rin," he told radio DZMM.

(Although it will slow, there are ships scheduled to unload cargoes. We will see 4 days that there will be no pull out of cargoes but our unloading is still at 100 percent.)

The PPA and private stakeholders earlier appealed to consignees, cargo owners and truckers to withdraw "overstaying cargoes" to decongest Manila port.

Some 7,000 cargoes remain out of 35,000 that arrived in Manila's ports since March 15, when the region went on lockdown due to COVID-19, Santiago said.

"'Pag hindi natin pinagpatuloy yung momentum ng paglalabas ng mga kargamento talagang napaka-volatile ng ating situation at darating tayo sa pagkakataon na mapupuno ulit yan," he said.

(If we don't keep the momentum of the cargoes' release, our situation is volatile, our ports may become full again.)

Yard utilization at Manila port declined to 70 to 80 percent as of Tuesday, Santiago said following the release of a joint administrative order that allows reduced processing time for the release of cargoes.

"Nakikita natin na kapag tuloy lang ang pag-pupullout mamemaintain natin yung utilization sa mga yarda. Pag ito ay pinabayaan natin talagang magkakaroon tayo ng congestion," he said.

(If we maintain the pullout of cargoes, we maintain the utilization of the yards. If we let it be, there will be port congestion.)