PPA beefs up port security, hires additional port police personnel

11 OCTOBER 2019, MANILA—The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) is beefing up its port police force nationwide in its bid to secure the country’s ports from all kinds of threat.

By the end of the year, the PPA will be deploying some 80 additional port police personnel to augment its existing port police force to man the 115 ports under PPA jurisdiction.

The new members of the PPA port police are now undergoing rigorous physical, emotional and intellectual preparations at the PPA training facility located north of Manila.

PPA General Manager Jay Daniel R. Santiago said the hiring and deployment of more port police personnel is part of PPA’s continuing effort in ensuring strict implementation of local and international port security measures and protocols.

“Our port police play an important role in ensuring safety and security of passenger transport and cargo hauling in PPA-managed ports around the country as threats remain imminent nationwide,” Santiago said.

“Safety and security protocols are constantly evolving especially taking into consideration the global war on terror and we have to guarantee that our force is well equipped with necessary skills and knowledge in delivering their tasks,” Santiago added.

“With a stronger port police force, we expect to mitigate, if not eliminate, the threats surrounding our ports since these are vital transport installations,” Santiago added.

With the implementation of the International Ships and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code in 2005, Philippine ports have been maintaining high safety and security standards including the maintenance of highly qualified and competent port police force.

The implementation of the Port Safety, Health, and Environmental Health System or PSHEMS, a pet project of the PPA, has likewise called for a well-capacitated port police force to fully implement its provisions.

In June 2019, the PPA port police force had also undergone training on law enforcement techniques under the United States Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) to equip responding officers with necessary techniques in dealing with various law enforcement situations.

“This is part of the mantra I brought when I took over PPA in 2016, to instill a culture of safety in all aspects of operations,” Santiago said.