Mindanao businesses welcome DoTr discount order on food cargo but seek long-term solution to logistics issues
BUSINESSES IN Mindanao welcomed the recent government order for shipping companies to offer a discount of at least 40% on food cargo, but said more long-term policies are needed to help producers bring their goods to the local market. “That’s only because we have a public health emergency. That’s good for the moment but it’s still a palliative measure by all account,” Antonio S. Peralta, European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP)-Southern Mindanao chairman said via online messaging. A Department of Transportation directive issued on June 24 orders shipping firms to offer the discount as well as allocate 12% of cargo capacity on agricultural and food products to “help ensure the viability of food production and delivery thereof.” Another order on the issued the same day mandated the establishment of a shippers’ protection office to address complaints on the industry’s rates, charges and practices. “That would be a good move if the measures stay in place permanently and not as a short term measure,” Mr. Peralta said. “Still I think that the best way to get competitive shipping rates would be to streamline cargo shipments by getting scheduled shipments from consolidators for quicker turn around deliveries. And let the market determine cargo rates through more competition,” he added.
The ECCP-Davao, in partnership with freight forwarding firm All Transport Network, Inc., will hold a webinar on Business Conference on Logistics on July 24, with participants from sea and air cargo companies, importers and exporters, and representatives from ports and Customs bureau. Mr. Peralta noted that the amendments to the Cabotage Law in 2016 brought down shipping costs at a “very little” level. The upcoming webinar is the second in the series on logistics after the Visayas-Mindanao conference held in January wherein bottlenecks, demographics, market characteristics, and opportunities were discussed. “The preliminary results indicated that there is a need to lower the shipping costs and undertake a more systematic approach in shipping commodities from Mindanao to Cebu and Manila,” he said. In the online conference, the industry “aims to finally resolve the longstanding issue of high shipping rates. This has been the case since the republic was born. This obviously can’t go on. We need to find a solution for this constraint,” Mr. Peralta said. — Maya M. Padillo
Cashless shopping in Divisoria ready soon with PayMaya
SHOPPING IN Divisoria, an old commercial center in Manila popular for its diverse goods and bargain prices, can soon be done with cashless transactions through the PayMaya application. The digital payment firm has been tapped by the Manila local government to provide contactless payment facilities to shop owners in Divisoria as well as stalls around the city hall. “Manila City is one of the LGUs (local government units) that are leading the way in digitalization. Citizens can receive their financial assistance direct to their own PayMaya accounts linked to their Manila City ID cards, and now vendors can easily and safely accept cashless payments via PayMaya. We are proud to be a partner in the city’s digitalization efforts,” said PayMaya Founder and Chief Executive Officer Orlando B. Vea in a statement.