PORT SECTOR SAYS CARGO TRAFFIC IN MANILA PORTS GOING BACK TO NORMAL
State-Run Philippine Ports Authority has recently announced that the traffic at the ports specifically in Manila Ports has substantially subsided and that hopefully within two weeks port cargo traffic will be back to normal.
It may be recalled that during the last quarter of the year, container and cargo volumes has increased tremendously primarily due to the influx of inbound cargoes and increased importations in reference to the onset of the Yuletide season and with the import-more-than-the export imbalance, a lot of empty containers are not being shipped out as fast as it should thus creating an abnormal situation of port congestion in Manila Ports particularly the South Harbor and Manila International Container Terminal (MICT).
PPA GM Juan Sta. Ana said that after undertaking several meetings with all the stakeholders at the Shipping and Port Sector , the PPA implemented effective and doable solutions to address the port congestion problems. We are now in a situation where we can say that congestion has subsided and we are gradually going back to normal as far as managing the cargo traffic in South Harbor and MICT is concerned. “ In two weeks time, everything will be back to normal and that we want to assure our sea travelling public that the PPA will vigorously pursue its mandate of providing them with more efficient, appropriate and modern port facilities and equipment,” he added.
For this year, the Port Agency plans to accelerate the implementation of its medium term plans which include at least four (4) areas of concern. Capacity build-up ranks number one with the plan to start enhancing/improving the major gateways utilizing the corporate funds or if necessary through borrowing from financial institutions who are always ready to provide the PPA with the needed assistance. The PPA likewise will be aggressively pursuing its computerization plans which hopefully will be in full swing nationwide anytime soon so that various strategies already are being implemented in order to achieve this goal. The other would be the pursuance of the Public Private Participation (PPP) where the private-public partnership will be aggressively pursued specifically in port operation. The other areas of concern that will be pursued would be the Safety and Security where the PPA hopes to be a major advocate of the Zero Maritime accident at the ports. In addition, therefore, to the already existing x-ray machines and other similar port equipment, the PPA plans to procure more safety and security equipment so that safety of the passengers and the cargoes entering the port zone can be better assured. As far as the safety of the sailing ships are concerned, the PPA plans to add more Vessel Traffic Monitoring System (VTMS) in at least four (4) more ports e.g. Iloilo,Davao, Zamboanga and Romblon. At present, PPA has constructed VTMS facilities in Manila and in Batangas Port.
Sta. Ana further added that long term plans are now being laid out so that the mandate of PPA could better be served to include the review/assessment of the present capacities and capabilities of major gateways nationwide in terms of length of piers/berths, back-up areas, container yards, port equipment and passenger terminal buildings’ among others. Likewise, Sta. Ana emphasized that as far as the terminal operations are concerned, the PPA commits to collaborate and partner with financially able, efficient and competent terminal operators who can provide the necessary corresponding port services with efficiency and reliability thus resulting in higher port productivity which could eventually result to enhanced trade and commerce.