By Ferdinand G. Patinio
MANILA, Dec. 31 (PNA) — The Bureau of Customs (BOC) is looking to build world-class port facilities in Manila to be at par with other countries in the Asia-Pacific region in terms of trade facilitation, Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon has said.
“Right now, we are working with some engineers and developers to come up with a conceptual framework or concept on how to build world-class port facilities, both at the Port of Manila and Manila International Container Port,” Faeldon said. “This is around 300 hectares, malaki po ito. (This is huge.) These facilities will include everything that we need.”
Citing an example, he said the country’s port has to have its own rendering facility so that destroying such products as meat need not take more than a year, as what happens at present since this is done in facilities outside the port.
Faeldon further said that the country has to take advantage of its geographical position — which is better than Singapore’s — since the Philippines is situated between the South China Sea and the Pacific Ocean, enabling it to cater to the Asian region, as well as the Pacific, including Australia.
“Singapore is a trading hub of the world as far as movement of imports and exports is concerned. It caters to the entire Asia-Pacific region. It’s their port that is really contributing the biggest to their economy. And Singapore is just a few nautical miles away from the Philippines,” he said.
“So we will be building world-class port facilities here where commodities from all over the world can be traded. Can you imagine the impact of that in our economy?” Faeldon said.