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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Palaca Wants Manila Port Cleared for Miraculous Black Nazarene and Pope's Visit

Malacañang on Tuesday appealed to importers and cargo handlers to move out as much cargo as possible at the Manila Port area before the Feast of the Black Nazarene on January 9 and before the visit of Pope Francis on January 15.
Cabinet Secretary Jose Rene Almendras, in a press briefing in Malacanang, said the moving out of cargoes would prevent port and shipping congestion during the times when some major thoroughfares in Manila are closed for the two very important events.
“On Friday, we have the Feast of Poong Nazareno po where we know that trucks and people will not be able to move much once the procession of the image of the Blazk Nazarene begins,” Almendras said.
“Next week, we have a very important visitor and we expect that as early as Friday, there will again be a disruption in the flow of traffic and goods,” he added.
“We are appealing to the importers, to all the cargo handlers: Can you please pull out as much of your cargos now while we are able to? What do we mean by now? That’s today (Tuesday), tomorrow (Wednesday), and Thursday,” Almendras said.
He also appealed to the private sector to take advantage of the weekends to move out cargo shipments from the Manila port.
“This is a good time for you to withdraw, to pull out all the cargo—Saturday and Sunday—dahil next week we only have Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. On Thursday, all the activities will be starting already the routes of the Pope will be secured, and all the facilities and the barriers will be up. There will be restrictions to traffic flow by that time. So, naturally, the flow of goods from the port will also be affected,” he said.
The Palace official likewise appealed to operators or owners of refrigerated vans to pull out the “reefers” from the ports.
“We have noted a significant increase in the refrigerated vans that are not being pulled out. The problem is there is not enough space in the port for refrigerated vans of the volume that we are now seeing. As a matter of fact, we have doubled the number of refrigerated vans in our Port of Manila today than is normal,” Almendras said.
He noted that there was no port congestion during the Christmas holidays but admitted there is a “shipping congestion.”
“The volume coming to the Philippines has increased,” he said, adding that it has become a problem  in most Asia Pacific countries, including the United States.
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