Press Release
November 15, 2019


In order to ensure immediate disaster response to calamity-stricken areas, Senator Manuel "Lito" Lapid has filed a bill providing free freight services in transporting relief goods and in-kind donations to areas that are under state of calamity.

Under Senate Bill No. 1151, also known as the "Free Relief Goods Transportation Act," Lapid wants to institutionalize a system that will facilitate duly recognized relief organizations in providing "speedy, reliable and unhampered delivery of relief goods" to areas that are hit by disasters through free transportation of humanitarian aid.

According to Lapid, there are still existing gaps in our government responses and approaches to disaster reduction and risk management including the logistical difficulties in mobilizing relief packages and material aid.

The senator pointed out that the archipelagic nature of the country makes it even more difficult to transport relief and emergency items and would normally entail huge freight costs, which are usually shouldered by relief organizations and aid agencies that could have been allotted to acquire more food and nonfood items for distribution to disaster victims.

"Layunin nating siguraduhin na mas mapapabilis ang pagpapaabot ng tulong sa mga kababayan nating nasalanta ng bagyo o naging biktima ng iba pang sakuna tulad ng lindol o landslide. Kadalasan kasi, ang mga relief agencies pa ang gumagastos para sa paghatid ng mga relief goods sa mga apektado ng kalamidad," Lapid said.

Under the bill, the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD), in coordination with the Philippine Postal Corporation (PPC) and all freight companies, common carriers, private carriers, freight forwarders and other companies providing logistic services in the Philippines are mandated to grant free freight services to duly registered relief organizations in the transportation of emergency relief goods and donated articles to areas declared to be in a state of calamity by the President or the local government unit (LGU) concerned.

These common carriers, freight forwarders and other similar entities are also required to deliver goods and services for free specifically to areas where they operate.

Furthermore, Lapid emphasized that disaster adaptation and mitigation mechanisms should be in place in order to ensure swift emergency response and provide the basic needs of the victims and survivors of calamities.

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