I was sidelined from writing for almost a weekend after I got infected by the cold spell caused by close-encounter with Zambales 1st district Congressman Jay Konghun during the media briefing conducted after hearing the grievances aired by brokers doing business with the SBMA Seaport operations department held at the board room of the state owned agency.
The media briefing also included SBMA chair-administrator Jonathan D. Tan, the PBBM fair haired appointee from Pandan, Antique island. Well it’s not only me that got infected by Konghun, but also a handful of media members who cramped the board room. However, it took me longer to recuperate due to old age and weak immunity system.
One of my children, Rowena, who is the vice president for corporate affairs of the Far Eastern University (FEU) was forced to make a quick trip to Subic to provide me medicines to curb by infections. It was only this weekend that I fully recovered my health.
It action taken by the Chairman Tan on the grievances aired by brokers was to set up a system which has been in place long time ago, but more than overlooked due to familiarity among the personnel at the processing office, the brokers or their representatives. I remember that brokers must accredited by paying accreditation fees to transact business with the agency and that a cut –off time was in place as the agency does not observe overtime work after 5pm.
Hence the re-imposition of the cut off time and the submission of written authority to do business with the seaport will surely reduce the manpower crowding at the basement office as this eliminate the presence of non-bonafide person particularly on the rush hour between 3 to 5 pm.
Moreover, the management of the operation unit must require all duty employees to perform their task to check the submitted documents. Before, some employees were reluctant to handle documents of brokers who are suki to other workers. It was bruited out that suki-suki was prevalent, hence some documents are process on the same day.
Among the positive measures, we gathered aimed to improve the cargo release at the twin container terminals at the Port of Subic and prevent containers suspected carrying illegal drugs and undocumented cargos from abroad, the system conceived by BOC district collector Circiaco Ugay of allowing the entry of BOC X-Ray mobile trucks to enter the cargo terminal and conduct examinations to the containers before they are release.
This development is a welcome set as before, the management of the container port refused to allow the BOC to undertake the container examinations, hence containers release from the yard found with questionable issues will have to be detained outside the yard.
Kudos to Ugay for getting the cooperation of SBITC and ICTSI management to allow in-yard X-Ray examination.•