As the Port of Manila suffers from congestion, allegations have been flying of personnel from both the government and the private sector taking advantage of this issue by asking for bribes and raising container yard rents.
Stakeholders represented by business groups, importers, and truckers’ groups said in a second Filipino Senate hearing on Thursday that despite improvement in mobility inside the port area, government employees are still extorting money for documents to flow faster.
An International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) spokesman said that to address this, there needs to be a Web-based vehicle booking system implemented – to remove people and paper from the equation.
[TeamBam]Christian Gonzales of ICTSI says that we need to remove truck ban & just create an appointment system for trucks. #PortCongestion— Bam Aquino (@bamaquino) October 16, 2014
Shipping lines have also been accused of making money off the port congestion problem, by charging $150-1,000 to remove empty containers out of the ports.
[TeamBam] Melissa Chua of FFCCCII says that shipping lines don’t want to solve #PortCongestion because they are making money out of it.— Bam Aquino (@bamaquino) October 16, 2014
Meanwhile, Secretary to the Cabinet Jose Rene D. Almendras said that after that truck ban was lifted, movement increased to even higher levels than before it was implemented in February. However, he admitted that the problem was far from over.
Almendras reiterated the need for long-term solutions to the issue, such as the proposed truck dispatch system, connector roads, and the revival of the rail system into the ports to increase capacity and avoid the problem of causing traffic jams.
[TeamBam] "We can solve #PortCongestion without causing traffic.” - Sec. Almendras to LGUs who are still resistant to his solution— Bam Aquino (@bamaquino) October 16, 2014
A final hearing would be scheduled soon.
For a play-by-play of the hearing, visit https://twitter.com/bamaquino.