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Summit to address port congestion.

Government agencies and port operators seek to address lingering port problems despite the lifting of the Manila truck ban in Ports Summit that will be hosted by the Port Users Confederation (PUC).

The PUC, a group of major stakeholders in the port industry, in collaboration with the Center for Strategy, Enterprise & Intelligence (CenSEI), will host the summit on Nov. 17 at The Manila Hotel.

Key officials from the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), Bureau of Customs (BOC), Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), National Competitiveness Council (NCC), Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), Asian Terminals Inc. (ATI) and International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) are expected to engage in moderated discussion with delegates from local and international business chambers and industry associations.

The imposition of the Manila truck ban last Feb. was blamed for the backlog in the delivery of vital goods that adversely affected consumer prices and business operations.

PUC president Col. Rodolfo De Ocampo (Ret.) said port operators, business chambers, and government will exchange views on ways to ease the situation at the Manila ports and propose long-term solutions in anticipation of increased trade as a result of the growing economy.

The summit will also pave the way for a meaningful and continuing dialogue between the public and private sectors.

Workshops to be moderated by experts from different fields will yield recommendations that will eventually be submitted to concerned government agencies.

Recommended action plans will be drafted in each of the sessions covering the following topics, cargo handling and transport, customs procedures and reforms, traffic management, anti-smuggling, international shipping regulation, and ports development.

A recent World Bank report indicated that the Manila truck ban was a major factor for the drop in the country's trade competitiveness.

It also indicated the ban was the wrong solution to the daily traffic congestion problem in the country's capital and the economic losses it causes.

The report on ease of doing business in different countries of the world also gives more credence to the call of business groups to remove all other truck restrictions including the rush hour truck ban being imposed by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) on the Greater Manila area.

The Doing Business 2015: Going Beyond Efficiency report of the World Bank showed that the Philippines improved in most factors except for certain areas mainly the Trading Across Borders category in which the multilateral lender noted the new city ordinance restricting truck traffic in Manila made trading across borders more difficult in the Philippines.

Among 189 countries ranked, the Philippines placed 95th, a drop of nine notches from last year's 86th place.

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Title Annotation:Metro
Publication:Manila Bulletin
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:Nov 14, 2014
Words:434
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