A FEASIBILITY study costing P16.27 million that will review various studies and chart a strategic utilization of the Port of Batangas to decongest the Port of Manila has been approved by the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA).
PPA general manager Juan Sta. Ana issued a notice of award to the joint venture of Science & Vision for Tech. Inc. and Syconsult Inc. after the tandem passed the technical and financial requirements for the contract. The team-up submitted a project bid of P16.19 million.
The project involves review of existing studies, including that of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the assessment of past and existing performances of the ports of Manila and Batangas, as well as the formulation and evaluation of a strategic plan.
The JICA study pushed for the transfer of cargo shipments to the underutilized ports of Subic and Batangas, which have low capacity utilization rates of 5.6% and 4.2%, respectively.
The PPA has been pushing a plan to divert cargoes to Batangas and Subic, gateways about 100 kilometers away from Manila, as a solution to Metro Manila’s traffic problem which government agencies have blamed on container trucks visiting the ports.
Manila port operators have denied the existence of port congestion. Rather, they said the problem is one of road congestion outside the ports. Port operators warned any cargo diversion would make the cost of shipping more expensive.