BOC assures ports will be manageable despite truck ban
MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Customs (BOC) assured on Tuesday that ports will still be manageable despite the reimposition of the truck ban in Metro Manila.
In a statement, the BOC said it “ensures its stakeholders that it will maintain the ports in the manageable level and pre-empts the repetition of the 2014 and 2018 port congestion amid truck ban re-implementation.”
“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,” said Edward James Dy Buco, deputy commissioner of the BOC’s Assessment and Operations Coordinating Group.
The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) reimposed on Monday the total truck ban in the metropolis to ease vehicular congestion on roads for the holiday season, after previously lifting the policy to ensure the swift flow of essential services and goods during the pandemic.
According to MMDA, trucks will not be allowed on main roads in the region from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday to Saturday.
On Edsa, trucks are not allowed from the Magallanes Interchange in Makati City to North Avenue in Quezon City, for 24 hours from Monday to Sunday.
The BOC noted that while the reimposition of the truck ban may ease the flow of traffic, a group of truckers contested that it would lead to different problems including increased congestion in ports.
However, BOC said it was optimistic amid the threat of port congestion as the bureau has been keeping the yard utilization rate within the desired level, in alignment with the global standard rate which does not exceed 70 percent.
Furthermore, the average yard utilization of Manila International Container Port (MICP) is at a manageable level of 75 percent from December 1 to 13, according to BOC.
BOC also noted that according to the Time-Release Study conducted at the MICP, which measured the actual average release time of goods, the actual customs clearance time for importation is two days, ten hours, and three minutes from submission of goods declaration to the issuance of clearance, and three days, 13 hours, and 29 minutes on exportation.
“The immediate release of shipments greatly contributes to reducing congestion in the ports,” the agency added.
Buco also said that the BOC has already directed the Customs Container Control Division of each port to strictly ensure the loading out of empty containers.
He added that all assessment offices personnel were likewise instructed to immediately process laden containers for prompt release to prevent them from piling up at the ports. Zac Sarao, trainee
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