Free freight services sought for relief goods

Sheila Crisostomo - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — A measure seeking free freight services for the transport of relief goods in areas devastated by calamities has been filed before the House of Representatives.

House Bill 4809 states that the delivery of relief goods to areas declared under a state of calamity by the President or local government units should be at no cost to relief organizations.

The bill was co-authored by Reps. Eric Yap of Benguet and Paolo Duterte of Davao City as well as by ACT-CIS Party-List Reps. Edvic Yap and Jeffrey Soriano.

In filing the proposal, the lawmakers cited the number of typhoons that hit the Philippines every year.

State weather forecasters said an average of 20 typhoons visit the country annually.

Lawmakers noted that the country is situated in the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire, which makes it prone to volcanic eruptions and earthquakes, respectively.

“Given these circumstances, the country is mandated to adopt a streamlined relief system that is expedient and responsive to affected citizens,” the bill said.

“Having such a system is critical as the Philippines is an archipelago, requiring freight forwarders and other logistics companies to collect, sort, store, transport and deliver relief goods to calamity areas in the most economical, reliable, speedy and secured manner,” the measure said.

Under the bill, the Office of Civil Defense should coordinate with all freight companies and logistics firms in providing free services to registered organizations that need to transport emergency relief goods and donations to calamity victims.


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