A measure providing free freight services in sending relief goods to calamity-hit areas has been approved on third and final reading at the House of Representatives.

During plenary session, the chamber approved House Bill 5070, which aims to ensure adequate and timely relief assistance to individuals and communities most devastated by a disaster, with 170 affirmative votes.

The bill also aims to facilitate quick responses to communities after the occurrence of disasters and emergencies.

The bill also aims to strengthen existing mechanisms that will facilitate quick responses to the demands and needs of communities after the occurrence of disasters and emergencies.

Under the bill, the Logistics Cluster of the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD), in coordination with the Philippine Postal Corporation, and all freight companies, common carriers, private carriers, freight forwarders and other companies providing logistic services in the country shall be mandated to provide 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 a local government unit (LGU).

Common carriers shall be mandated to deliver goods and services free of charge.

These common carriers, freight forwarders, and other similar entities shall be mandated to deliver goods and services free of charge to areas where they operate.

When the area is not accessible, such relief goods shall be sent or delivered to the nearest LGU and shall be consigned in the concerned local chief executive.

The bill also requires the Law and Order Cluster of the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council to provide security and traffic management assistance to the Response Cluster’s operations to facilitate the speedy movement of people, goods, and equipment to the affected population and responding agencies. 

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