The Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) has proposed several policy and infrastructure reforms to tackle Manila ports’ long-standing congestion.
The government think-tank, in its policy note, has called for a directive that will divert cargoes bound for, or coming from, the south of Manila to Batangas port, while those coming from the north to Subic Bay.
Terminal operator ICTSI is also urged to revive the PNR Rail freight operation to its inland container depot in Calamba, Laguna, during off-peak hours.
The institute acknowledges the need in the medium term to divert Manila traffic to Subic Bay and Batangas via the expansion of the latter and a rationalisation plan for the Greater Capital Region.
“There is a need for a gradual rehabilitation and improvement of the PNR line so that it can be used to move empty, unclaimed, and abandoned containers to an inland container yard,” PIDS added.
In the longer term, the emphasis is on planning better and a new and large deepsea port, although it does not say where.
However, it does say the Philippines should have “a national multimodal transport and logistics development plan with special emphasis on connecting the Subic-Clark-Manila-Batangas corridor to the rest of the country”.