Home » 3PL/4PL, Breaking News, Customs & Trade, Maritime, Ports/Terminals » PH stakeholders hail signing of Co-loading Act

ID-100331829Private and public stakeholders expressed support for the newly signed Foreign Ships Co-loading Act, saying the new law will promote healthy competition, more competitive rates, and lower shipping costs.

Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. (PHILEXPORT) President Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr. said that although a bit watered down, Republic Act (R.A.) 10668 could lower the cost of shipments of exporters and importers especially from the Visayas and Mindanao.

“We wanted a repeal of the whole thing because the exporters and importers especially from Mindanao were paying double charges because of cabotage law,” he said in a statement.

President Benigno Aquino III on July 21 signed into law Republic Act 10668 which allows foreign ships carrying imported goods and export cargoes to dock in multiple ports after being cleared by the Bureau of Customs.

Jimmy Chan, PHILEXPORT trustee for the metals sector, believed the new law would give rise to competition on shipping and logistics business.

“(This will) benefit particularly local interisland trade and exchange of goods and services. Domestic prices and services will improve in favor of consumers and public alike,” he said.

Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) chairwoman Lualhati Antonino said the new law will “hasten improvement of Mindanao’s cargo shipping industry and encourage efficient services that will result to more a competitive business climate.”

In a statement, Antonino said RA 10668 could usher in increased services by foreign shipping players that will create a more productive and profitable import and export mechanism to the advantage of Mindanao’s growing industry.

MinDA cited President Aquino’s speech during the signing, in which he stated that because of the lack of competition, the current cost of transporting cargo container from Cagayan de Oro City to Hong Kong totals P56,880, with P50,400 of that amount covering the cost of shipping from Cagayan de Oro City to Manila. The remaining P6,480 covers shipment cost from Manila to Hong Kong.

With RA 10668, shippers can directly transport goods from Cagayan de Oro City to Hong Kong for P22,500, allowing savings of P34,380, or 60% off current shipment costs, Aquino said.

MinDA, through its priority policy agenda, has been pushing for the amendment of the country’s cabotage policy, “seeing it as a move that will strengthen connectivity and help Mindanao maximize its economic potentials.”

It must be noted though that RA 10668 does not amend the cabotage policy because the law still bans foreign vessels from carrying domestic cargoes.

“With this law already in place, we can fully tap the potentials of the Mindanao Development Corridors and focus on building a more connected and globally competitive Mindanao,” Antonino said.

She added that the law will also create a more competitive business environment for Mindanao, facilitating its trade with economies in the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area and Association of Southeast Asian Nations, as well as with other countries around the globe.

“We laud this development, as Mindanao products bound for export will become more competitive in the world market,” Vicente Lao, chair of the Mindanao Business Council, said.

He added that imported raw materials needed for production in Mindanao will also become cheaper.

“This is a good move of the Aquino administration, and we welcome this development as it will foster competition among domestic shipping companies in the country,” Ferdinand Marañon, president of the Philippine Exporters Confederation-Davao, said in a news statement.

“This will give big contributions to the country’s economic activity, which in the long run will reinforce sustainable growth and development of the Filipinos,” he said.

Image courtesy of khunaspix at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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