Port security, free Wi-Fi now in place ahead of the Halloween break

OCTOBER 10, 2016, MANILA—A couple of days before the Halloween break, the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) has started to implement stricter security checks to complement the initiatives being imposed by the Philippine Coast Guard and the Maritime Industry Authority.

The PPA has likewise made sure that passengers waiting for their vessel boarding time will get free Wi-Fi access in 67 terminals nationwide.

PPA General Manager Jay Daniel R. Santiago said the effort is all in accordance with the directive of the President to make sure that passengers are comfortable, safe and secure while at the terminals.

“While the expected influx of passengers is still a couple of weeks away, the PPA this early has already prepared our terminals with the proper safety and security procedures vis-à-vis their comfort and convenience,” Santiago explained.

“We can’t take for granted the security of our ports and the riding public. We should always be cautious and alert while making sure that passengers are comfortable while inside the terminals through the provision of free Wi-Fi access,” Santiago added.

“I have also reiterated to our port managers to take all the necessary measures to reduce the inconvenience and to make sure that our ports are safe at all times,” Santiago said.

“While the ports are still on heightened alert since the Davao bombing a couple of weeks ago, PPA has further increased the security ante but keeping in mind first-class accommodation while inside port premises,” Santiago stressed.

The action plans, on the other hand, include enhanced security procedures through maximum utilization of walk-through and baggage x-ray machines, walk through metal detectors, utilization of K-9 Units as well as continuing visibility of PPA Police and security guards within the port area and PTBs.

A well-ventilated and air-conditioned passenger terminal building with clean comfort rooms, nursing stations and other travel amenities as well as round-the-clock Medical and Passenger Assistance Counters and Passenger Help Desks will also be provided.

To further enhance the procedures, PPA is asking the passengers to segregate and declare metallic objects and bladed tools for industrial uses so that such items can be tagged, then turned over for safekeeping and to be retrieved at the port of destination by the owner.

Vessel operators, on the other hand, are also advised to actively assist in the information dissemination in the event that vessels schedules need to be changed for whatever reason and to provide information as to when the affected passengers can be accommodated in the succeeding trips.