The Port of Manila has been experiencing congestion and logistical problems, which has resulted in higher prices of goods in different parts of the country, according to Senator Bam Aquino.
“The Manila Port has had logistical nightmares recently and thus, delay in the delivery of goods and services to the provinces,” said Aquino, chairman of the Senate Committee on Trade, Commerce and Entrepreneurship.
Aquino said he received reports of shortage in medical equipment such as dental needles and anaesthetics in Mindanao due to the slow movement of shipments from Manila.
“The prices of dental needles went up from P600 to almost P2,000. Even if you have the money, still you cannot find one in drugstores and other medical companies because of delay in arrival of supplies from Manila,” Aquino stressed.
Logistical problem has also affected the manufacturing sector due to the late arrival of needed raw materials, hampering their production and delivery schedule.
The delay in the delivery of shipment of rice, garlic and onions also contributed to the high prices of such goods in the market.
“Businesses are affected by delays in the delivery of their shipment, forcing them to increase prices to recoup losses. The increase will then be shouldered by the helpless consumers,” the senator said.
The senator called on the administration of the Manila Port, local government of Manila, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and other stakeholders to find a “win-win” solution that will address supply problem, reduce prices of commodities and solve the perennial traffic problem, all at the same time.
“I believe that all of our major problems are addressed when stakeholders gather together to solve it,” said Aquino.
Aquino said stakeholders should consider using other ports, such as the Port of Batangas, Subic and Davao, as alternative unloading points for cargo and shipments to decongest the Port of Manila.
“If the cargo is headed to Pangasinan or La Union, it would be wise to have it unloaded in Subic. This way, time and money will be saved,” Aquino said.
“If these cargoes are diverted to other ports, the number of trucks roaming around Manila will be reduced, resulting to better traffic conditions. It will be a win-win solution for everybody,” Aquino said.