Saturday, October 4, 2014
Bam Calls for Stronger Stance Vs. Port Corruption
Sen. Paolo “Bam” Aquino yesterday reiterated his call for the government to apply the full force of the law against corrupt business practices that contribute to port congestion woes.
Aquino said concerned agencies should intensify its campaign against corruption, extortion and other illegal activities in and around the Port of Manila as they contribute to congestion, traffic and higher prices of basic commodities.
“If we’re going to fix this, we should do it completely and we should solve the issues for the long-term,” said Aquino, chairman of the Senate Committee on Trade, Commerce and Entrepreneurship.
“We should get rid of illegal activities such as extortion because they hamper the delivery of goods and contribute to the increase in prices of goods and services,” he added.
Aquino renewed his pronouncement after Malacañang noticed that extortion activities in and around the port abound and result to port congestion.
He said it is imperative that the government shows that it means business by going hard against these individuals who are making a living through illegal means.
Aquino noted that during the Senate committee hearing on port congestion, some stakeholders complained about “along the way” fees being collected by unscrupulous individuals.
“While decongesting our port is the main priority, concerned government agencies must also look at other factors that contribute to this problem, like corruption,” he said.
Aquino said extortion and corruption contribute to inefficiency, delaying the processing and delivery of shipments and discouraging truckers and shipping companies from fulfilling their obligation.
“Ultimately, the consumers will bear the full brunt of this because shipping companies will pass on to them their additional losses,” Aquino said.
The lawmaker also encouraged entrepreneurs who’ve been victimized by extortion or other illegal activities to come forward and file a case or complaint.
“We need the cooperation of everyone to combat corruption. As they say, evil will prevail if good men do nothing,” Aquino said.
He said they can course their complaints through the WASAK or Walang Asenso sa Kotong hotline (16565 and 0908-8816565) which provides entrepreneurs an avenue to air their complaints against public officials.
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