The Port of Manila will be decongested in two weeks’ time, Cabinet Secretary Jose Rene Almendras said.
Speaking to reporters in a press briefing in Malacañang on Wednesday, Almendras said truckers, especially those who have cargoes that have been in the port for more than 30 days, have five days to move their containers out of the port starting Sept. 8. Otherwise, their containers would be shipped to Subic in Zambales.
“Please don’t use the port as your warehouse,” he said, appealing to importers and truckers who leave their containers in the already crammed port.
Beginning Oct. 1, all unclaimed cargoes will be fined P5,000 for each day the containers would remain in the Manila port, Almendras said.
To hasten movement of cargoes, a two-week “special privilege window” that allows truckers to go beyond the 24-hour express lanes to complete their deliveries will be implemented.
“For the next two weeks, starting on Monday, Sept. 8, until Sept. 22, there will be trucks that will be exempted from that restriction, meaning 24/7 they can make the trip along the 24-hour express truck lanes and the ‘last mile,’” he said.
A “special tag and a special permit” to allow trucks to take the “last mile” will be issued by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).
There are 16,000 containers that need to be moved out of the port and the government is pressed to free up space to make room for more cargoes expected to come in, especially in the last three months of the year.