MANILA, SEPTEMBER 3, 2016—The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) has put all ports nationwide in heightened alert in light of the deadly Davao bombing Friday night.
PPA said there is a need to further boost safety and security in all ports, particularly Mindanao ports, to deter any further terroristic acts.
“All port managers and port police, particularly in the Mindanao region, are instructed to take all necessary measures to make sure that there are no loose ends when it comes to safety and security,” PPA Acting General Manager Jay Daniel R. Santiago said in a directive.
“You are likewise further directed to subject all cargoes, luggages and passengers to strict inspection procedures to guarantee that criminal elements will not be able to use the ports as a springboard for their unlawful activities," Santiago stressed.
“The terror threat is not only concentrated in Mindanao but nationwide so ports in the Visayas and Luzon regions should not be complacent and are likewise advised to increase security visibility and heighten security measures,” Santiago added.
Even before the Davao bombing, the PPA has already put all ports on high alert status. And as a result, Iligan port operatives were able to intercept a passenger carrying a kilo of shabu, worth about P1.4 million, which was turned over to the PNP for further investigation.
Davao, meanwhile, is on a lockdown after an explosion rocked a night market around 10:20 p.m. on Davao City's Roxas Street Friday killing14 people and leaving dozens injured.
The terrorist group Abu Sayyaf eventually took responsibility of the bombing.
Meanwhile, PPA assured that commercial operations of its Sasa Wharf, the main gateway of the region’s import and export cargoes, will not be interrupted and likewise ordered its port personnel to make sure that delays would only be minimal particularly with respect to perishable goods.
Aside from Davao, PPA is not expecting any delays in the commercial operations despite the heightened alert status of PPA-controlled ports.