MANILA, Philippines – Cargo bound for the north and south of Luzon would soon no longer have to pass through Manila as the government moves to ease congestion in the Philippines' largest port.
A memorandum of agreement between the Philippines Ports Authority (PPA) and the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) is set to be signed to allow the Subic port to become an extension of the Port of Manila.
“So if your bill of lading specifies Manila, it could be dropped off in Subic,” Transportation and Communications Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said Sunday, September 7.
The government is also eyeing the same arrangement for the port of Batangas. Abaya said this would enable the transport of cargo bound for Southern Luzon faster and easier.
“Most of the cargo being off loaded in Manila but are bound for Batangas or Northern Luzon. So I think we could make arrangements that these shipments could be off loaded in Batangas , in the same way, those who are northbound could be off loaded in Subic,” he said.
In preparation for the influx of cargoes for the Christmas season, the government has begun shiipping out overstaying cargoes to Subic.
The PPA gave importers and brokers a five-day grace period to clear out overstaying cargoes effective Monday, September 8. These cargoes would be seized after 15 days if they still remain at the port. At least 1,600 container vans are set to be auctioned off as a result of the decongestion efforts.
The truck ban imposed by the city government of Manila to ease heavy traffic in the area has been blamed for the port congestion. As the truck ban remains in order, authorities have since designed solutions to adjust, including assigning a designated lane for trucks along C5, and imposing counterflow schemes. (READ: MMDA to manage gridlocked roads near Manila port)