11 APRIL 2023, MANILA — After the Holy week exodus, it can be concluded that the over-all operation of all ports under the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) is generally peaceful and well-organized with no untoward incident recorded at its Port Management Offices across the country from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday.
The records of PPA shows that from April 2-10, 2023, the number of passengers recorded at the ports reached 1,628,950 or 24% higher than the 1.3M recorded on the same period in 2022. According to PPA General Manager Jay Santiago, passenger traffic is now returning to its pre-pandemic level due to continuous easing of COVID-19 restrictions.
"Right now we are gradually recovering from the pandemic, thus, the number of our fellow Filipinos who traveled to go home this Holy Week has also increased. This is also the main reason why we have 24/7 monitoring at ports, because the people need our assistance during these times," said Santiago.
The highest number of passengers at the ports was recorded yesterday, the last day of the peak season which also coincides with the commemoration of the Day of Valor in which 253,154 passengers were recorded. It was followed by the second highest number of passengers recorded last Holy Wednesday with a total of 233,962 passengers.
Aside from keeping the port operations safe during the Holy Week, PPA also provided other assistance to passengers waiting for their trips. These include the provision of free coffee and porridge at the Port of Babak in Davao – the top 5 port when it comes to number of passengers recorded and distribution of free easter eggs at Port of Nasipit, ---both offered to passengers on Easter Sunday.
"We're proud to announce that no untoward incident happened at the ports this Holy Week. The only complaint we received is the non-functioning online booking system of the shipping lines at Batangas Port which we already coordinated with MARINA, but so far, we can say that Holy Week 2023 has been smooth sailing at all ports," added Santiago.
Complaints received by PPA during Christmas season last year regarding long queues and passengers waiting outside the passenger terminals are no longer present this holiday rush. Particularly in Port of Calapan, with its newly opened biggest passenger terminal, now catering more than 3,500 passengers at any given time.
The PPA likewise recently opened its new Port Operations Buildings (POBs) at the Ports of Masbate and Coron on March 2023, in preparation for the expected influx of passengers come Holy week, which significantly helped in preventing congestion at ports this peak season.