Call to nix cabotage laws in the Philippines

Manila: Senator Bam Aquino on Monday filed a bill in Manila seeking to allow foreign ships to call on multiple local ports to help reduce shipping costs in what could be a big shake up for local cabotage rules.

“As an archipelago composed of more than 7,100 islands, the country relies heavily on sea routes interconnecting the islands. Inter-island shipping is crucial in the transport of goods, especially for this coming Christmas season,” Aquino said.

The bill aims to allow foreign ships to call on multiple domestic ports, provided that their cargoes are intended for import or export, Aquino said.

During one of the committee hearings, it was disclosed that it is cheaper to send products from other countries to the Philippines than to ship goods within the country. [16/09/14]

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