Press Release
June 21, 2020

Revilla: Waive shipping fees of emergency relief goods

To ensure adequate and immediate delivery of relief goods to calamity-stricken areas, Sen. Ramon Bong Revilla Jr. has proposed the lifting of shipping fees of transport service providers engaged in relief operations.

Revilla, in filing Senate Bill No. 1560, also known as the Relief Goods Free Transportation Act, said the measure seeks to provide free freight services of relief goods to areas declared in a state of calamity by the President or the local government unit (LGU) concerned.

"More often than not, the transport of these goods, despite humanitarian reasons, entail a huge cost," the senator said, adding that the archipelagic nature of the country contributes to the difficulty in transporting relief goods.

In providing relief assistance to communities heavily affected by disaster, Revilla noted the role played by private individuals and companies and non-government organizations.

"Often, the State is not alone in this endeavour," he pointed out.

"During these trying times, our citizens are the most affected. Thus, it is imperative to ensure that adequate relief assistance is given to individuals and communities heavily affected by the disaster," Revilla said.

Under the bill, the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD), in coordination with the Philippine Postal Corporation (PPC) and all freight companies, common carriers, private carriers, freight forwarders and other companies providing logistic services are mandated to transport relief goods and donated articles free of charge.

Common carriers, freight forwarders and other similar entities are also mandated to deliver goods and services for free in areas where they operate.

If the area is inaccessible, the relief goods shall be sent or delivered to the nearest LGU and consigned to the concerned local chief executive.

Certain shipping auxiliary cost, such as those for arrastre services, pilotage, and other port charges that are routinely passed on to customers, shall be borne by the concerned arrastre, pilotage, and port authorities.

Provided, however, that container van costs, turnaround time and volume of cargo entitled to the free freight charges shall be considered in order to minimize the loss of profits of the private sector.

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