Lockdown, perfect time to decongest ports, says JTF CV

Published April 5, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Aaron Recuenco

The absence of traffic jams in Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon is an ideal situation to decongest ports of overstaying shipments and empty containers, the Joint Task Force Corona Virus Shield (JTF CV Shield) said on Sunday.

Build-up of trucks leading to Port of Manila (Isko Moreno Official Facebook Page / MANILA BULLETIN)

As such, JTF CV Shield commander Lt. Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar urged shippers and consignees to start moving out their shipment and containers from various ports in Luzon and transport them to their respective warehouses and storage areas.

In this way, Eleazar said that ports in Metro Manila such as the Manila International Container Terminal and the Manila South Harbor, and other parts of Luzon will have enough spaces when the normal port operations resume after the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ).

“We have designated special lanes and we are also giving special consideration to cargo vehicles in order to ensure unnecessary and redundant inspections. This is the right time for the shippers and consignees to move out their shipments from the ports and eventually lead to the decongestion of our ports,” said Eleazar.

Earlier, the JTF CV Shield tapped the police’s Highway Patrol Group (HPG) personnel to secure cargo vehicles along major thoroughfares. HPG personnel were tasked to set up Dedicated Control Points (DCPs) along major thoroughfares.

Based on the guideline, it is only at the DCPs where cargo vehicles are allowed to be inspected.

Eleazar said they will coordinate with the Department of Transportation, Philippine Ports Authority for the movement of shipment and containers out of the ports in Metro Manila and other parts of Luzon.

“With the present traffic situation especially in Metro Manila, we in the JTF CV Shield believe that this should serve as an encouragement for the haulers, owners and consignees to transport the shipments out of the ports,” said Eleazar.

In 2014, congestion in Metro Manila ports became a huge problem and resulted in the P2.5 billion daily loss to the economy, according to the House of Transportation Committee. Attempts to decongest the ports resulted in monstrous traffic jams along major thoroughfares leading to Manila.

Congestion has been a recurring problem especially in the two ports of Metro Manila.