Utilize Batangas port, Aquino urged

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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

A HOUSE member on Monday urged President Benigno Aquino III to issue an executive order to divert all local and international shipping cargos delivering raw materials for the economic zones located in Calabarzon area from the port of Manila and Manila International Container Port (MICP) going to the port of Batangas.

Batangas Representative Raneo Abu said the Batangas Port Terminal has been underutilize for years despite government spending around $240-million in loan from the Japanese Government through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) for the construction of the country's "most modern port."

Abu said that the Batangas Port can hold up to 320,000 containers per year but it seems that the infrastructure has not been used in its full capacity as it only received 11,000 containers in 2013.


"Kung susumahin natin, ito'y nasa three percent to four percent lamang ang utilization rate nito," Abu said.

Abu added that President Aquino can actually issue an executive order to mandate all shipping vessels with cargos bound for Calabarzon to drop their goods and raw materials in Batangas City where the port is located instead of Manila.

Calabarzon or the Southern Tagalog Mainland is comprised of the provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon.

The lawmaker said that both the port Manila and the MICP are already experiencing decongestion contrary to the claim by their respective managements since shipping companies there are collecting from the shippers a Port Congestion Surcharge amounting to P10,000 per container.

"Kaya daw sila nangongolekta (Port Congestion Surcharge) ngayon dahil congested na ang mga ports sa Manila. Sila ay nagbabayad ng demorahe so parang pang-ayuda nila ng demorahe," Abu said.

Based on a study by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (Peza) around 57,000 export containers were recorded in 2013, or roughly 1,250 containers per week.

Abu noted that 86 percent of the containers being unloaded in the terminals inside those ports where allotted for the locators in various economic zones, in which around 60-percent of it were mostly bound for the exports processing zones in the Provinces of Laguna, Batangas and Cavite.

Abu said that if the Batangas port will be used instead of the Port of Manila to accommodate the incoming and outgoing containers for those provinces, the traffic situation in Metro Manila will suddenly improve.

He added that the port of Batangas, is the best alternative if the government really wants to decongest the Port of Manila since it is also accessible but less traffic prone, without a truck ban unlike Manila and it is more modern. (Sunnex)

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