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Congested ports a sign of improving economy – Palace


Look on the bright side. Congestion at Manila ports shows the economy is lively, a Palace official said Sunday.

"Dapat din po nating kilalanin na ito (port congestion) ay isang pagpapakita rin ng masiglang pag-unlad ng ating ekonomiya na napakarami talagang mga kargamentong dumarating sa ating pantalan, ‘yung Port of Manila," Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said of container vans that have piled up at the port.

"Patuloy pa rin pong inaasikaso ‘yan lahat ng mga awtoridad at pinagtutulungan ng iba’t ibang ahensya ng pamahalaan na makalikha po tayo ng iba’t ibang hakbang at alternatibo para ma-address ‘yang sitwasyong ‘yan," he said in an interview over government radio dzRB.

Coloma said that cargo may be coursed through other ports in the country as an alternative to the ports in Manila.

"Kailangan lang isaayos ‘yung logistical arrangement dahil meron naman po tayong iba’t ibang mga pasilidad, katulad ng sa Batangas at Subic, na maaari rin namang magamit para sa transshipment ng mga kargamento na galing sa ibang bansa," he said.

Port congestion has resulted in delayed deliveries and has been blamed for price increases in goods like fruits and chicken. Analysts have also warned that port congestion may impact economic growth and the competitiveness of Philippine goods.

The Philippine Ports Authority earlier identified the City of Manila's daytime truck ban as the leading cause of port congestion.

It cited that around 5,000 container vans land at the Port of Manila daily, however, due to the truck ban, only a fraction of those get to leave the port.

Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, who has extended an existing truck ban in the city, said that the daytime truck ban will continue despite protests and allegations that the truck ban caused the overcrowding.

Estrada said the city government has provided a 24-hour express lane for cargo trucks going in and out of the port. — Rouchelle R. Dinglasan/JDS, GMA News
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