The House of Representatives Committee on Transportation, under its chairman Samar 1st District Rep. Edgar Mary Sarmiento, has approved the International Maritime Trade Competitiveness Act on Wednesday, October 13.

The House substitute bill will consolidate House Bills 4316 and 4462 and will be entitled “An Act to enhance the competitiveness of the Philippine trade by strengthening the oversight functions of relevant government agencies over the imposition of shipping charges by international shipping lines and institutionalizing mechanism for the efficient movement of goods”.

The two measures were filed by Reps. Bernadette Herrera (BH Partylist) and Ronnie Ong (Ang Probinsyano Partylist)

Unanimously approved by the transportation panel, the bill aims to resolve the problem of expensive shipping costs and promote healthy market competition.

“The bill includes multiple provisions which aim to promote a healthy market competition,” said Ong, who served as co-chairperson of the technical working group (TWG) that discussed the said measure.

Provisions of the bill include the publication of rates by international carriers to ensure transparency, giving additional powers to Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), provide additional tasks and powers relevant to maritime trade and movement of goods, and giving other government agencies additional powers and roles to fully implement the objectives of the measure. (Melvin Sarangay)

Source: Manila Bulletin (