Press Release
August 6, 2014

Probe Port Congestion Immediately! - Sen. Bam

Worried about its negative effect on prices of commodities and in the operations of local businesses, importers and exporters, Senator Bam Aquino has filed a resolution seeking a probe on the worsening cargo congestion at the Port of Manila.

Aquino said the problem must be addressed quickly because the longer it sticks, prices of goods carried by importers and exporters will continue to rise.

"We will prolong the agony of the public if we will not help government agencies find ways to address the gridlock in the ports that led to untimely delays in shipment of goods, said Aquino.

In his Senate Resolution No. 809, Aquino stressed that delays in the cargo deliveries affected prices of agricultural products.

In addition, Aquino said even manufacturers of fresh produce couldn't fully ship out the goods due to possible spoilage because of long queues in the ports.

"Because of this, the country's exports have become highly uncompetitive," added the senator, who chairs the Senate Committee on Trade, Commerce and Entrepreneurship. The Bureau of Export Trade Promotion believes that its prediction of 5.8 percent to 7.2 percent in export growth rate is not feasible because of the problem.

"The decrease in trade volume affected the law on supply and demand, which resulted in abrupt price increases," the senator said, adding that inefficient operations of the port had an adverse effect on free enterprise and competitiveness of Philippine goods.

Aquino earlier suggested to port authorities to look into the Ports of Batangas and Subic Bay as alternative cargo drop-off points.

The senator said Vietnam also had the same congestion problem but it was solved after it diverted cargo to new alternate ports of Ben Nghe and Phu Huu, aside from upgrading the Cat Lai port.

"With the upcoming ASEAN integration in 2015, there is a need to have immediate and long-term solutions to the problems on port congestion since the flow of goods had been restricted by the issuance of policy orders of different government agencies," the senator said.

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