Port congestion ‘harming PH exports’

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014


THE congestion and shipment delays at the Manila ports are making Philippine exports highly uncompetitive as most ports do not have to contend with a similar cause: a truck ban policy, according to two prominent leaders of the business community.

Sergio R. Ortiz-Luis Jr., president of the Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc. (PhilExport), said congestion at the Manila terminals has reached “110 percent of capacity” and warned that the situation could go from bad to worse unless “some real remedies” are applied.

“There’s a real problem now as shipments can’t be loaded or unloaded,” he said.

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Robert Amores, president of the Philippine Food Processors and Exporters Organization (PhilFoodex) and PhilExport trustee for the Food Sector, said shipments should normally be cleared out within 72 hours. But with the congestion, clearance sometimes takes “15 to 30 days,” he said.

The ports of Hong Kong or Busan in South Korea also experience traffic jams but they can address their problem because there is “no truck ban to compound” the overcrowding issue, so “they can cope,” said Amores.

Both Ortiz-Luis and Amores were invited to the public affairs program Biz News on July 14 to air the business sector’s perspectives and suggestions on the congestion problem at the Manila ports.

Amores said food exporters are losing business because what buyers are doing now is to accept what local exporters can ship out, then fill the rest of their orders by importing from other sources, such as Thailand. (PhilExport)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 24, 2014.

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