Written by Butch D. Enerio / Correspondent
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY—The ports of Mindanao will play a leading role in facilitating inter-island trade once markets in Southeast Asia Integrate by 2015.
There is the need for discussions and the necessary preparations so that opportunities for the region will be optimized.
The Mindanao Shipping Conference (MSC) underscored the importance of strengthening logistical, as well as legislative support for the sector to maximize potentials for Mindanao both domestically and internationally.
Organized by Port Call and the Phividec Industrial Authority, MSC seeks to modernize and put in place the needed logistics in the seaports, considering that 99.9 percent of trade in Mindanao depends on the water transport. “Aside from the need to upgrade infrastructures at our ports we should also strengthen the regulations of maritime operations in consonance with the upcoming Association of Southeast Asian Nations integration,” said Adoracion M. Navarro, senior research fellow at the Philippine Institute for Development Studies.
Navarro said Mindanao needs deep seaports that can accommodate or allow big international vessels to dock.
“For Mindanao that serves 25 percent of the country’s container traffic, the island’s ports must be developed to accommodate big vessels at portside and find ways to decongest existing ports.” Navarro said.
Other topics discussed during the conference were the new Bureau of Customs policies under the current administration aimed at rationalizing operations and addressing the corrupt customs and trade practices by lawyer Agaton Uvero, deputy commissioner for Assessment and Operations Coordination Group; Economic Prospects of Mindanao with Dr. Cayetano Paderanga; Logistics Initiatives for Mindanao by Engr. Emmanuel Carpio, Maritime Industry Authority director for Northern Mindanao and Caraga.