04 JANUARY 2023, CALAPAN, MINDORO —Deployment of additional ship is the visible solution seen by the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) to address the long queues of passengers at the Port of Calapan experienced on the first day of back to school and work following the holiday season.
According to Port Management Office (PMO) Mindoro Port Manager Elvis Medalla, aside from the strong sea waves and bad weather prevailed in the province, the turn-around time of the passenger ships at the port was likewise slow due to reduced number of fast craft traveling at Calapan Port.
"Our ship is apparently lacking. Before, we have four FASTCRAFT with Calapan-Batangas-Calapan route, however, the only one that is servicing now is OCEAN JET," said Medalla.
According to PM Medalla, it is possible that the long queue will extend up to January 4, 2023 based on their past experiences on influx of passengers returning to Metro Manila. He said that PMO Mindoro added additional tents and canopies to shelter waiting passengers, while the parking space of the PMO was temporarily used as waiting area for senior citizens, PWDs, pregnant women and those with children.
Meanwhile, General Manager Jay Santiago emphasized the long-term solution to address the long queues of passenger through the construction of the new Passenger Terminal Building of the Port of Calapan which is expected to open on March 2023.
"We are asking for understanding from our fellow Filipinos who experienced long queue here at Calapan Port, yesterday. Increasing the number of ships that traveling here is part of our unending call, so that our passengers don't have to wait too long. Hopefully, it will also be a huge help when we open the new Passenger Terminal Building this year," said Santiago.
The new Passenger Terminal Building (PTB) to be opened at Calapan Port is expected to serve 3,500 passengers at any given time and shall also be the largest PTB in the country.
"Expect that when we open the new Passenger Terminal Building in Calapan, you will be more comfortable at times like this," added GM Santiago.
From December 27, 2022 to January 2, 2023, 77,242 passengers have been served at the Calapan Port while yesterday, January 3, 2023, 16,086 passengers were recorded to pass through the port.
According to PMO Mindoro data, yesterday was the highest number of daily passengers recorded at Calapan Port since December 27, 2022 which was unfortunately accompanied by bad weather condition in the area.