Duterte, Yap bats for free freight services in relief goods transport to calamity-hit areas

Friday, 7 October 2022

First Congressional District Communication and Information Office

Duterte, Yap bats for free freight services in relief goods transport to calamity-hit areas

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QUEZON CITY - Noting that the country is nestled in the Pacific’s earthquake and volcanic ring of fire, and is hit by at least 20 destructive typhoons every year, Davao City 1st District Rep. Paolo Duterte and Benguet Rep. Eric Yap has filed a bill mandating the government to adopt a streamlined relief system that are secured, expedient and responsive to disaster victims’ needs.


House Bill No. 4809 aims to order the Logistics Cluster of the Office of Civil Defense, in coordination with the Philippine Postal Corp. and all freight companies, common carriers, private carriers, freight forwarders and other logistic companies in the country to provide free freight services to duly registered relief organizations in the transportation of emergency relief goods and donated articles to areas that are declared under a state of calamity by the President or by the local government units.


“This is critical given that the country’s geography is an archipelago—mainly requiring common carriers, freight forwarders, freight companies and other logistics companies to collect, sort, store, transport, and deliver relief goods including those donated by international and local donors to areas declared in a state of calamity in the most economical, reliable, speedy and secured manner,” Duterte explained.


While Yap added that according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) accounts nearly half a trillion pesos were lost in the national economy as a result of the events and disasters from 2010 to 2019.


The proposed measure, also known as the Relief Goods Free Transportation Act, seeks to strengthen existing mechanisms that will facilitate quick responses to the demands and needs during disasters and emergencies and to encourage altruism among the public when it is necessary to provide timely relief assistance to the victims of calamities.


The Act, according to Duterte and Yap also states that common carriers, freight forwarders, and other similar entities are mandated to deliver goods and services free of charge to areas where they operate. When the area is not accessible, such relief goods shall be sent or delivered to the nearest LGU and shall be consigned to the concerned local chief executive.


“Certain shipping auxiliary cost, such as those for arrastre services, pilotage, and other port charges that are routinely passed on to customers, shall be borne by the concerned arrastre, pilotage, and port authorities: Provided, That container van costs, turnaround time, and volume of cargo being shipped free of charge shall be considered in order to minimize the loss of profits of the private sector,” Duterte added.


The Office of Civil Defense and the Department of Transportation, through the Civil Aeronautics Board, Maritime Industry Authority, and Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, would be taskedbto implement the provisions of the Act, monitor and oversee compliance of freight service companies, common and private carriers and other entities providing logistic services as provided for under the measure.

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