PHILEXPORT urges immediate approval and implementation of JAO to reduce shipping costs

Exporters have appealed to the government for the immediate approval and implementation of the joint administrative order (JAO) that will lessen or eliminate
port congestion and reduce shipping costs, and thus boost trading activities in the country.

Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. President Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr. pointed out problems on high shipping fees, business unfriendly port policies, and insufficient infrastructure continue to hound the export industry.

“Logistics is a very vital component of an efficient international supply chain. That we are more expensive than our ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) neighbors is a major pitfall that needs to be addressed at once,” he said during the group’s second general membership meeting.

Ortiz-Luis Jr. was addressing PHILEXPORT members during the 2nd General Membership Meeting (GMM) on June 18.

Ortiz-Luis Jr. added that the JAO was crafted by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Transportation (DOTr), and Department of Finance (DOF) to help regulate shipping charges and decongest the ports.

GMM Keynote Speaker DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez noted that even prior to the issuance of the JAO, port rates were already adjusted and congestion was reduced as
the yard utilization was down to 65 percent to 70 percent.

On lowering shipping rates, Lopez bared that a draft JAO is with the DOTr and is being reviewed.

“So malapit na yan, (That will be issued soon) give me about maybe one to two weeks. The draft is with our undersecretaries right now. With the joint administrative order, we hope to really identify ano yung allowed na (what are allowed) shipping charges or fees that will be included in that charged sheet… So we are identifying already the cost that can be charged,” he said during the same event.

Lopez, also the PHILEXPORT Chairman Extraordinaire as DTI Secretary, also assured the government is addressing the infrastructure needs of the country with its aggressive infrastructure program.

He was optimistic about lower logistics cost as “we finish all these roads, bridges, (and) transport projects.”

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