ICTSI calls for more 24-hour truck routes

Posted at 08/11/2014 12:46 PM | Updated as of 08/11/2014 3:19 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Global port operator International Container Terminal Services Inc (ICTSI) proposed several solutions to reduce congestion in the port of Manila.

ICTSI's Asia region head Christian Gonzalez says the government must open more 24-hour truck routes to declog the arteries in the port.

In an interview on ANC's Headstart, he explained that though the Manila truck ban is effective in easing traffic for students and employees, it's bad for trade.

He added there should be a truck scheduling system similar to Australia.

For every four imports that come in, Gonzalez noted only 1.5 actually go out as exports, which explains the backlog in the port.

"There's an economic trade imbalance. We're a net importing country, consumer economy," he said.

He added the government should relocate the illegal settlers around port areas which take up needed space and provide incentives for importers to use Batangas and Subic ports.

"We're giving a lot of incentives. I understand ATI is giving a lot of incentives in Batangas as well. Frankly, the backlog is being reduced but we need more efforts for people to use Subic and Batangas," the ICTSI official said.

The national and local government should set a deadline for a traffic management plan.

"We always get hit internationally on how poor the infrastructure is. You where our infrastructure is not poor? International container terminals in Luzon. You have a phenomenal port in MICT, two great Japanese terminals in Subic and Batangas. We have amazing port infrastructure, but that's not enough. We need to power them, we need roads to decongest them. You need trucking infrastructure to move in and out. It's a whole chain... The first step really is how do we get trucks to move as quickly as possible," Gonzalez said. - ANC