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Chiz presses for senate probe of port congestion

Posted On 2014 Aug 11
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Senator Francis "Chiz" Escudero (MNS Photo)

Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero (MNS Photo)

Senator Chiz Escudero has asked the Senate Committees on Trade, Commerce and Entrepreneurship, Economic Affairs, and the Ways and Means to probe the congestion in the two major ports in the country which is hurting the flow of goods going in and out of the Philippines.

Escudero, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, has filed Senate Resolution Number 808 urging the three committees to look into worsening congestion in the Manila International Container Port (MICP) and the Port of Manila in order to prevent a potential crisis that will only defeat the country’s economic gains.

“This is already a nagging issue that if left unabated would hurt the gains of the country’s economy. It will hurt us bad since there is already that glaring truth triggering an economic crisis,” Escudero said.

The city of Manila decreed a daytime truck ban to decongest the monstrous traffic jams in the city. Following the truck ban, empty container vans owned by shipping lines occupied 50 percent of the container yards, which caused the congestion.

Many local and international vessels are unable to dock and unload their cargoes in the MICP and the Port of Manila, prompting major shipping lines to boycott the city ports due to lack of berthing spaces.

“It is time for the Senate to step in to abate this looming crisis. It is already causing us economic backlash at costs we cannot afford. Look at the spoilage of perishable goods, the unavailability of raw materials, business loses in the import and export industries, and idled factories. These are more than enough to clog the wheels of our economic engine,” the senator said.

Escudero said the country, as an import dependent nation, cannot afford long shortage of supplies and consumer goods. He added that Philippine export becomes highly incompetent because of the sluggish shipment of goods that can no longer meet on time the demands abroad.

The senator said even exporters from Cebu are also complaining about the same problem of port congestion in the Cebu International Port (CIP) that caused traders around $15,000.00 per shipment delay.

“We would like the Senate to take the appropriate action to find an institutionalized solution to prevent this continuing economic crisis,” Escudero said.

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