16 NOVEMBER 2023 —The Philippines, through the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) is currently participating actively in the 47th Meeting of the ASEAN Ports Association (APA) this November 13-17, 2023 in Bali, Indonesia together with other member nations.

The 9-member countries of APA namely Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines presented their respective papers that will serve as the springboard for future development and cooperation among member countries.

Foremost of the issues tackled is the ASEAN Maritime Single Window (MSW) to support connectivity and reduce logistics costs in the Southeast Asian region.

PPA General Manager Jay Santiago fully supports the ASEAN MSW that will be implemented in 2024. "The PPA is awaiting instructions for the implementation of the Maritime Single Window which will certainly create a huge impact in terms of ports efficiency and reducing carbon emissions. Our neighbor country, Singapore and Indonesia are already implementing their digiports and that saves them a lot of time and manpower. Thailand is also on their way to their National Single Window operations. Hopefully the Philippines will be able to implement its own national single window shortly,” GM Santiago explained.

According to the chairperson of the 47th APA meeting Bui Van Quy of Vietnam, the collaboration of APA Member countries on the implementation of the MSW is attuned to the preparation of APA's 50th Anniversary Celebration in 2024.

"Digitalization and the ecosystem are directly connected. We can save time and increase efficiency in the supply chain so all will benefit from this modern connectivity and digitalization," added Quy.

ASEAN Ports Association was attended by Angelina Llose, Head of PPA’s Corporate Planning Department, with Neil Tuazon also of the same department and PPA Corporate Communications Head Eunice Samonte. PPA presented the country's paper entitled: "Port Terminal Management Regulatory Framework" which outlines the country's innovation to ensure efficient port management and port users satisfaction being actively pushed by PPA General Manager Jay Santiago.

APA, meanwhile, was formed in 1974, as an alliance of port authorities in the ASEAN to serve as the proper forum for the achievement of the following broad objectives: exchange of information, harmonization of trade practices, and promotion/facilitation of trade among ASEAN ports.

The Association is presently composed of regular and associate members collectively recognized as members by the Association. Regular members are those national port authorities and/or the country ports with the government retaining majority interest. Corporatized or privatized ports comprise associate members. These members determine programs of work and priorities, annual budgets and other affairs of the Association; elect the Chairperson and the Vice-Chairperson; and, attend special meetings to discuss matters on proposals, recommendations or reports of the Working Committee or Technical Committees.