M’nao ports to lead inter-island trade

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Friday, June 20, 2014


THE ports of Mindanao will play a leading role in facilitating inter-island trade once markets in Southeast Asia Integrate by year 2015 thus the need for discussions and the preparations to optimize opportunities that will emerge in the region.

The Mindanao Shipping Conference (MSC) underscored the importance of strengthening logistical as well as legislative support for the sector to maximize potentials for Mindanao to do business within the country and internationally.

Organized by Port Call and the Phividec Industrial Authority, MSC seeks to modernize and put in place the needed logistics in the seaports considering that 99.9 percent of trade in Mindanao depends on the water transport.

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“Aside from the need to upgrade infrastructures at our ports we should also strengthen the regulations of maritime operations in consonance with the upcoming ASEAN integration,” said Adoracion M. Navarro, senior research fellow at the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS).

Navarro said that Mindanao needs deep seaports that can accommodate or allow big international vessels to dock.

“For Mindanao, that serves 25 percent of the country’s container traffic, the island’s ports must be develop to accommodate big vessels at portside and find ways to decongest existing ports.” Navarro said.

Customs Reform Program

One of the focus discussions at the conference was on the newly implemented ruling on accreditation for importers and custom brokers.

Bureau of Customs has recently released a number of policies to rationalize operations and pinpoint gaps between transparency and corruption in trade and customs.

In 12 months, adoption of the load port survey or the pre-shipment inspection on containerized shipments and the implementation of the plan to fully computerize the bureau and other measures are expected.

According to Atty. Agaton Uvero, Deputy Commissioner for Assessment and Operations Coordinating Group of the Bureau of Customs, all importers are to secure BIR importer clearance certificates. For custom brokers, a BIR customs broker clearance from the head office in Quezon City is required. In addition, accreditation from the Bureau of Customs is required. Without the accreditation, they will not be allowed to perform any transaction with BOC.

ASEAN integration

Other topics tackled during the conference is on the challenge and benefits that will be brought along with the ASEAN integration specifically regarding the industrial sector, the weakness and strengths on the economic aspect of Mindanao and shippers’ and cargo service provider’s needs.

Businessmen and entrepreneurs convened to strategize and envision a better Mindanao by 2015.

President Aquino also invited everyone to be more aggressive in opportunities brought in by investors in the region. The shipping industry ensures the continued economic and social development in Mindanao and it accelerates the preparation for the coming ASEAN economic community, the President adds.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on June 20, 2014.

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