Planned Aduana Truckers Strike Aborted
The planned strike by truckers of the country’s two (2) major ports, the Manila International Container Port (MICP) and the Port of Manila (POM), may not happen after all, when Bureau of Customs (BOC), Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) and trucking association officials were able to constructively discuss the congestion problems now faced by the two major ports.
In explaining their position during the September 17, 2012 “Kapihan sa Aduana” media forum hosted by the BOC Press Corps, Inc., MICP District Collector Ricardo Belmonte and Port of Manila District Collector Atty. Rogel Gatchalian, said they have already arranged for weekend releases of shipment, even as both Belmonte and Gatchalian urged importers, brokers and truckers to take advantage of the weekend service the BOC is now providing to lighten the load of work during weekdays.
“We urge all importers, brokers and truckers to file their entries early on the day or during the weekend so we can lighten up our processing load during weekdays,” Belmonte said.
For his part, Gatchalian asked the importers to avail of the BOC’s weekend services by opening an account with certain Aduana based banks, so payments for duties can be made even during weekends to facilitate the release of cargoes.
“We have made special representations with Aduana based banks to accept payment for duties even during weekends to enable us to facilitate the release of cargoes during these days. So I am asking all importers to please avail of our weekend service to solve the congestion problem at the POM,” Gatchalian stressed.
On the other hand, ICTSI Operations Manager Noel Monzon said, the ICTSI has added eight (8) more RTG’s to augment its existing 35 RTG’s to facilitate faster unloading of containers from ships. While Philippine Ports Authority Port Operations Manager Francis Mancile said the PPA is now making arrangements for the transfer of the local shipping companies now using the South Harbor facilities to the North Harbor area to provide more space for arriving international vessels.
As this developed, Aduana Truckers Association President Mary Zapata and Association of International Shipping Lines (AISL) General Manager Atty. Max Cruz, welcomed the government officials suggestions, even as they hoped that the agreed measures would eventually solve the congestion problem at the POM and the MICP.
MARINA Deputy Administrator Butch Arceo for his part stressed that, his office is pretty much sensitive to the problems of the two major ports and is always ready to help in whatever way it can to help solve these port concerns.