Happy 49th anniversary, PPA!

Hello folks! Happy thirstday! It was the 49th anniversary of the Philippine Ports Authority last Tuesday. It’s a weeklong celebration of achievements and camaraderie among the government ports, its employees and port users.

Congratulations to the men and women of PPA for the commitment to serve and to the general manager for steering PPA to new heights.

Another year to go and the golden era is waving, congratulations to the current PPA General Manager Jay Santiago for being consistent in making great waves on and offshore.

Have you seen Pepe Asensado? The PPA’s mascot with huge feet and a vest just like a giant porter ready to roam around the ports nationwide. Have you seen the latest Pap’s Kariton? It is the mini ship-like kariton or cart in every port serving hot lugaw or porridge every time there are stranded people at the ports due to bad weather or ship cancellation.

Have you seen the local products of the ports nationwide? Well, you can visit the bazaar at the PPA head office and have your photo taken at the PPA’s coolest Coachella photobooth. Have you heard about the new “Tindahan sa Pantalan” in Zamboanga? Here the vendors have been organized and will be selling their goods and products in one place, helping the ambulant vendors in Zamboanga.

Recently, PPA launched its 30 seaport projects nationwide in Luzon, the Visayas, and Mindanao. Following the directive of       President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to make the maritime industry great again, the PPA prioritized both the continuation of the ongoing projects and the improvement of the state-run ports.

As the country rises from the reeling effects of the pandemic, more first-rate infrastructure projects are getting back on track, starting with 30 new infrastructure projects that will greatly help with the ease of doing business, travel, and connectivity in the next years.

Another year to go and the golden era is waving.

The initial “Build, Build, Build” program of the past administration translated to bringing more convenience and comfort to the lives of the Filipino people as President Marcos Jr.’s “Build, Better, More” program is now set in motion.

Despite the challenges brought about by the pandemic, PPA is determined to rise and provide seamless connectivity between and among the islands.

Now let me share with you some of the 30 seaport projects completed in the first year of this administration. One is Abra de Ilog, the construction of this port operational area appears necessary to complement the port operations by providing an ample area for general cargo storage and marshaling, queuing, and parking of rolling cargoes.

The Port of Nasugbu now has a new breakwater to properly address the required tidal protection of the port. The proposed additional breakwater aims to protect the existing facilities at the Port of Nasugbu against the adverse effects of the habagat and will provide safety and efficiency in port operations year-round.

The expansion at the Port of Isabela, Basilan was constructed to accommodate additional RoRo vessels calling at the port, in effect enhancing passenger arrivals together with commerce and trade in the area. The port of Calapan is the main port serving Oriental Mindoro, now its Rehabilitation/Expansion of its Existing Passenger Terminal Buildings 1 and 2 is deemed necessary to maximize the capacity and usage of the PTB as well as to provide convenience to passengers.

Other projects in the top 10 include the extension of the wharf and reclamation of the back-up area at the Port of Iligan, Lanao del Norte; the construction of a back-up area and port in Coron, Palawan; expansion of the back-up area with RoRo ramp at the port of Lipata, Surigao del Norte, and the construction of a port operational area at the port of Calapan, Oriental Mindoro.

Among the many seaport projects is the P152,602,461.11 construction of a port operation area at the Port of Currimao, Ilocos Norte that is expected to serve 56,597 foreign cruise passengers along with 82,492 MT of cargo and 61 rolling cargo for essential goods movement across the regions. Currently, it has a completion rate of 87.441 percent and is expected to serve as a new port of call in the Philippines and be an additional asset to the cruise industry.

Meanwhile, the Capinpin Port Expansion project in Bataan is at 99.78 percent completion and is expected to divert traffic from Manila to accommodate the Bataan Export Processing Zone, which is at its 99.78 percent completion rate. Building access also means the construction of a port operational area at the Port of Calatagan, Batangas now at 97.278 percent completion rate. The project will serve as an expanded RoRo berthing and stair landing facility.

Out of the 30 seaport infrastructure projects, 11 infrastructure projects were completed in 2022, 6 projects were completed earlier this 2023, and 13 projects are ongoing this year.

With the commitment of the men and women of PPA, we can be sure that we are in good hands as we travel to various places in the country and as the economy depends on a responsive and reliable shipping industry in the transport of the majority of the country’s products.

Yes, we need the shipping industry to advance our economic agenda and we need to make sure that it does.

Yes, dear readers, you are right, because we are in the same boat.

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