Bam on Foreign Ships Co-Loading Bill (Transcript of Interview)

Senator Bam Aquino (third from left), chairman of the Senate Committee on Trade, Commerce and Entrepreneurship, poses with (from left) Reps. Anthony del Rosario, Mark Villar, Miro Quimbo, Teddy Baguilat Jr., Raneo Abu and Cesar Sarmiento after the Foreign Co-Loading of Cargoes Act hurdled the bicameral conference committee.

“We were able to finish the bicameral conference committee regarding the bill allowing foreign vessels to dock in multiple ports and co-load.

We’re quite happy with this bill. We’re hoping that the objective of this bill, which is to lower the cost of logistics in the Philippines, can be achieved.

This is quite a landmark bill in terms of opening up our shipping industry to foreign players, which hopefully can bring down prices of goods as well, which will be to the benefit of our consumers.

There were some cleaning up of language, harmonization of definition of terms but more or less, it was the same spirit from our committee report.

 Initially, the House version was only for container vans. The Senate version was for all foreign cargoes. We had a larger scope from theirs and we were able to harmonize by accepting the Senate version which is having a larger scope for foreign cargoes.

This is a landmark bill so we’re hoping it would be signed into law as soon as possible.”

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