A SENATOR has filed a bill that seeks to waive shipping fees for relief goods transported to areas under a state of calamity.

Under Senate BIll 1560 filed by Senator Ramon B. Revilla, government agencies and freight companies can provide free freight services to relief organizations.

“The archipelagic nature of the country contributes to the difficulty entailed in transporting relief goods,” he said in the bill’s explanatory note. “More often than not, the transport of these goods entails huge cost.”

Freight companies can waive fees from the delivery of relief goods and services in areas where they operate.

In inaccessible areas, goods will be sent to the nearest local governments and then consigned to the local chief executive.

Meanwhile, shipping auxiliary costs such as pilotage and other port charges will be shouldered by the company and port authority.

The local disaster agency must ensure the security of the goods being delivered and their speedy delivery.

A similar measure is pending at the Senate committee level. A counterpart bill at the House of Representatives was approved on third and final reading in December 2019. — Charmaine A. Tadalan