The Department of Transportation (DoTr) on Wednesday warned of sanction against overstaying cargo owners and consignees as the government moves to free space at the now congested Manila International Container Terminal (MICT).
Transportation chief Arthur Tugade said the congestion delays the delivery of cargo that later on prompts a spike in the price of goods.
“I am appealing to cargo owners and consignees to remove their overstaying cargoes inside the MICT. A healthy port means no congestion, no delays in the delivery of cargo, and stable prices of goods.
A recently proposed joint memorandum circular (JMC) states that cargoes discharged from vessels for more than 30 days but remaining at the port should be withdrawn within five days from the date the JMC becomes effective and the cargoes declared abandoned and forfeited in favor of the government.
Earlier, Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) General Manager Jay Daniel Santiago warned of a possible shutdown of the Port of Manila if cargo owners and consignees ignore calls to withdraw cleared, ready for delivery and overstaying cargoes.
Tugade said decongesting frees up space for cargoes needed in the campaign against the coronavirus pandemic such as food items, protective equipment and medicine.
The PPA said yard utilization at the MICT and the Manila South Harbor is almost full as cargoes remain unclaimed following the Luzon-wide quarantine.