24 MAY 2023, MANILA —Precautionary measures are now in place in all ports under the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) following the announcement of the weather bureau PAG-ASA to prepare for supertyphoon Mawar, with a local name of Typhoon Betty once it reached the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR).
While it has yet to directly hit the country, Mawar may enter PAR by Friday or the weekend according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAG-ASA).
To keep on track, PPA General Manager Jay Santiago is continuously monitoring more than a hundred ports nationwide to ensure safety of the passengers in all ports and to prepare for the worst case scenario, reminding all the Port Management Offices (PMO) to remain vigilant and updated in the current situation on the ground. The PPA GM has given specific instructions to the PMOs for severe weather disturbance including providing a helping hand for the possible affected passengers.
"My directive since this morning is to ensure that standard operating procedures are in place to protect life and properties at the terminals. I have reminded PPA staff and employees as well to make sure stranded passengers are taken cared of with hot meals, meron po tayong lugaw para sa kanila na nakahanda sakali mang lumakas po itong bagyo at may mastranded sa pantalan, maliit na tulong po sa mga pasahero pero malaking ginhawa po ito para sa kanila", said GM Santiago.
PMO Palawan and PMO Zamboanga have already taken precautionary measures in their respective areas as well, in case the supertyphoon hits their areas based on trajectory. PMO Zamboanga has started the reinforcement of loose structures and removal of light materials in the terminal while PMO Palawan started the safekeeping of cargoes that might be affected by the strong winds.
PPA will be posting social media updates 24/7 to remind the passengers and give timely information about cancelled trips and the "No Sail Policy" depending on the directive of the Philippine Coastguard (PCG) and MARINA.
"As of now po wala pa namang kanseladong byahe dahil sa malakas na paparating na bagyo, tuloy-tuloy po ang kooperasyon po natin sa mga kasahaman natin sa Maritime Industry para agad na ma-alerto ang mga kababayan natin at maiwasan po ang anumang di inaasahang pangyayari", said PPA Spokesperson Eunice Samonte.
The PPA Emergency and Medical Teams are also on alert for any structural, health emergency, or any need to respond to sick calls while all vehicles are also on stand by for any eventualities.
The Port Police Department together with its force multipliers have been ordered by PPA GM Santiago to prepare for the storm. The public is also being advised to check the social media page of PPA before heading to the ports.
"Rest assured na maaga po tayong nakapaghanda sa bagyo at safety po ng mga pasahero at bawat tao sa pantalan ang pinaka number 1 na inaalala po natin sa panahong ito", GM Santiago concluded.
A list of affected trips can also be found in the PPA official social media accounts in Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram: