By Betheena Unite
Importers and consignees of unclaimed containers in Manila ports have been constantly contacted and urged to pull out their shipments to avoid bottleneck in ports.
Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said during the inter-agency task force briefing Friday, April 3, that the Bureau of Customs (BOC) have been ordered to enforce a swift release of shipments but the bureau said the bottleneck that prevents the release of the shipments is no longer under them.
“According to the Bureau of Customs, wala na po sa kanila ang bottleneck, tapos na po at naproseso na po nila lahat ng mga kailangang proseso para ma-withdraw na po ang lahat ng mga containers na naiwan at naipon doon sa ating mga ports (According to the Bureau of Customs, the bottleneck is not on their part, they have already processed what needs to be processed to withdraw the containers left and have been staying at the ports),” Nograles said.
The Philippine Ports Authority, on the other hand, have been constantly coordinating with consignees to urge them to claim their containers from the ports to avoid port congestion. “Mayroon pong problema doon sa mga consignees at shippers at kung sinuman ang may–ari ng mga containers na ito na hanggang ngayon ay hindi pa nila kine-claim at ipino-pullout ang kanilang mga containers (There is a problem with consignees and shippers and whoever owns the containers, because they have yet to claim and pull out their containers),” the cabinet secretary furthered.
Customs Assistant Commissioner Vincent Philip Maronilla also called on importers to claim their containers to avoid port congestion that can result to port lockdown, especially now that processing of goods have been made faster.
“Merong report ang PPA at ICTSI kung saan sinasabi nila na maraming overstaying containers na hindi pa napu-pull out at kung hindi ito maresolba at dadagdag ulit yung containers na maki-clear ng BOC –lalong lalo na maraming container na maki-clear dahil binibilisan ang proseso ngayon—maaaring magkaroon ng port congestion, mag-lockdown o magsara itong mga puwerto natin na iniiwasan namin (The PPA and ICTSI have reported that there are a huge number of overstaying containers that have yet to be pulled out and if this isn’t resolved and the containers continue to pile up—especially now that the many containers have been cleared due to swifter process—it could result to port congestion, lockdown, and closure of our ports which we are avoiding),” Maronilla said.
“By the middle of this week dapat na-normalize na namin yung situation. We’re aiming for a zero backlog,” the customs official said, citing that the temporary closure of Manila International Container Port (MICP) is due to a confirmed case of COVID-19 on one of their employees, slowing down their processing of shipments last week.
Earlier, a total of 4,000 overstaying and under processing containers from the MICP were transferred to other container yards in Bulacan and Manila to improve the port’s yard utilization.