03 DECEMBER 2022, MANILA —In response to expected influx of passengers come holiday season, the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) is set to enforce a "No Leave Policy," per memorandum issued by General Manager Jay Daniel Santiago covering its frontline personnel at the Port Management Offices (PMOs) and Head Office to ensure a safe and smooth trip at ports effective December 5, 2022 to January 6, 2023.

According to GM Santiago, it is important to ensure safety and attend to the needs of passengers during travel peak season.

"This is a little sacrifice this holiday season because these passengers, they seldom go home to their province that sometimes is just once a year. Let's give them the proper service due to them as passengers of the port," said GM Santiago.

From January to October 2022, more than 2.9 million passengers have been recorded to utilize Matnog Port, significantly higher compared to 1.79 million recorded last year, and 1.68 million passengers in 2020 on same mentioned months, based on PPA's passenger data.

PMO Bicol Port Manager Ma. Magnolia Requejo said that an expansion project for the construction of a 6,000 sqm back up area in Matnog Port is underway to avoid overcrowding of passengers emphasizing that, “Once the expansion project  on the construction of the new back-up area is completed, it will be a huge help during the peak season."

Also, among one of the busiest ports every December with expected total number of 40,000 passengers during this month, various initiatives together with partner government agencies were already undertaken at North Harbor according to PMO NCR North Acting Port Manager Aurora Mendoza. 

"PMO NCR North always implements OPLAN BIYAHENG AYOS at North Harbor every December. In coordination with our partner government agencies such as the Philippine Coast Guard, MARINA, and Maritime Police, we ensure that the Malasakit Help Desks is manned 27/4 to properly provide passenger assistance," said Mendoza.

Meanwhile, GM Santiago reminds passengers to plan their trips ahead for Christmas and New Year. "Let's avoid last minute bookings because that is one of the causes of delays, especially now with influx of people," Santiago added. The largest passenger traffic at ports is expected by December 15, when most employees have received their wages and Christmas bonus.

The terminal fee at ports under PPA remains free for Senior Citizens, PWDs, students, and uniformed personnel.