MANILA — A top official of the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) said during the recent 8th Philippine Ports and Shipping Conference that strong cooperation between the government and the private sector is needed in addressing the country’s supply chain bottleneck problems.
According to DOTC Undersecretary Julianito Bucayan Jr., both sectors should truly recognize and effectively play their role into coming up with a win-win solution in addressing every concern affecting the Philippine supply chain.
Bucayan stressed that a sound and harmonious relationship between the government and the private sector is a key factor in making the country move towards achieving its dream of being a major global player in the shipping and shipbuilding industries.
“One of the good examples of a good government and private sector partnership is the issue of port congestion wherein both sectors agreed to sacrifice certain aspects of their operations to solve port congestion,” he explained.
“As we continue to move forward, both the government and the private sector agreed to continue to give timely solutions in order to prevent such situation to happen again,” Bucayan said.
“We believe that if government and the private sector have sound relationship, we can easily address issues of trade bottlenecks not only in the Philippines but also in the BIMP-EAGA as it offers very good growth areas now and in the future,” he added.
Philippine Ports Authority general manager Juan C. Sta. Ana, for his part, echoed the claims of Bucayan who heads the DOTC’s Project Implementation and Special Concerns Office.
“This Ports and Shipping Conference will tackle and open up new trends and opportunities in the ports and shipping sector and PPA is fully committed to achieve those trends and opportunities,” Sta. Ana said.
“Government and private sector partnership is vital particularly as we gear towards green and sustainable port operations as well as adopting best practices and norms of today towards a fully revolutionized port operation,” he added.
As a testament to a good public-private partnership, utilization levels at the Manila South Harbor (MSH) and the Manila International Container Terminal (MICT) continue to dwindle down to normal levels.
As of last Friday, utilization was at 76.5 percent or approximately 62,300 twenty-foot equivalent units (a combination of laden and empty containers) inside the MSH and the MICT.
The level was 3.5 percentage points lower than the 80% utilization level target set by the Cabinet Cluster on Port Congestion.
The combined number of vessels waiting at pilot stations likewise declined to five, excluding vessels currently at berth with a combined total of 10 ships.
Vessel turnaround time still remains at two days while the average yard productivity for both ports is at 18 moves per hour per crane.
“The continued decline in the utilization level of the Manila ports is a clear manifestation of a healthy government and private sector partnership,” Sta. Ana said.