MANILA – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Tuesday assured that measures are in place to prevent congestion in ports for the holiday season.
This came in the wake of the reimposition of a truck ban along the Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (Edsa) and other major thoroughfares.
In a statement, Customs Assessment and Operations Coordinating Group deputy commissioner Edward James Dy Buco said the bureau has been keeping its yard utilization rate within the desired level in compliance with the global standard rate which does not exceed 70 percent.
He said for Dec. 1-13, the average yard utilization of Manila International Container Port (MICP) is at a manageable level of 75 percent.
Dy Buco added that they are coordinating with shipping companies to prevent traffic of cargoes in ports.
“To ensure the unhampered delivery of services and avoid possible port congestion, the bureau is closely coordinating with Shipping Lines and Terminal Operators as our proactive role in averting the unlikely event of port congestion,” he said.
He added that the Customs Container Control Division (CCCD) of each port has been directed to strictly ensure the loading out of empty containers.
“Moreover, all Assessment Offices personnel are instructed to immediately process laden containers for prompt release to prevent them from piling up at the port,” he said.
Despite its inevitable implications on the movement of goods, the BOC ensures its stakeholders that it will maintain the ports in a manageable level and pre-empts the repetition of the 2014 and 2018 port congestion amid the truck ban re-implementation.
On Monday, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) reimposed the ban on trucks with six wheels or more from Edsa Magallanes in Pasay to North Avenue in Quezon City, with window hours set on other major thoroughfares to address the increasing traffic volume in Metro Manila.
The ban has been reinstated after nine months since the onset of the coronavirus disease pandemic in the country.
Truckers’ groups have warned that the truck ban would lead to different problems such as increased port congestion. (PNA)