PPA, PAI, APEC-Antwerp/Flanders sign pact on Port Training Cooperation

OCTOBER 19, 2016, MANILA—The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) signs an Understanding with the Port of Antwerp International (PAI) and APEC-Antwerp/Flanders (APEC) on capacity building and Philippine port development.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is an offshoot of the ongoing seminar on Logistics, Supply Chain Management and Ports Master Planning currently conducted by PPA in coordination with the representatives of the PAI and APEC.

PPA General Manager Jay Daniel R. Santiago said the signing of the MOU comes at a perfect time considering the complexities in the country’s supply chain that has bugged the delivery of goods in and out of the country the past couple of years.

“This agreement will definitely give us the edge to further simplify and reduce the complexities in our overall supply chain considering that it is a challenge for a country composed of more than 7,000 islands,” Santiago explained.

“This is also in line with the thrust of the current administration in streamlining government processes to trim down the cost of doing business in the Philippines through faster delivery of government services,” Santiago stressed.

The Belgian delegates, on the other hand, led by APEC-Antwerp/Flanders and PAI managing director Kristof Waterschoot said the MOU is one of the steps to familiarize the Belgians with the plans and programs of the PPA and determine possible collaboration as well as present the competitive advantages of the Belgian technologies and services and hope that it will discover potentials for cooperation.

The MOU, meanwhile, includes the establishment of a technical cooperation between the two parties on capacity building to enhance the skills, abilities, and knowledge in the management and operation of the port thereby creating an environment of well-trained, knowledgeable and able port professionals for PPA while strengthening the traditional friendship between the PARTIES and its ports.

Both parties also agreed to prepare a plan of cooperation through the principles of mutual benefits and reciprocity in relation to the conduct of an analysis on the possibilities of the planned cooperation, which includes port development, promotion, customer service and developing mutually beneficial relations to maritime business and international trade, in all related aspects; Exchanging and cooperating in the development, modernization and management of ports; Improvement of the legal and regulatory framework; Increase the profitability of transport and logistics related operations and the introduction of new management structures; Mutual attraction of investments in the development of port infrastructure and industrial and logistic port zones; Improvement of energy efficiency of port facilities and the introduction of renewable energy sources; and the conduct of research and consultancy projects for port, maritime and logistics services in the Philippines jointly between parties.

The pact will last for at least a year and can be extended or renewed based on mutual agreement between the parties while the costs and expenses incurred in connection with the execution and implementation of the MOU will be borne by each party.

“With the dream of the Philippines to be a shipping super hub to compete with the likes of Hong Kong, Singapore, among others, this MOU put the country a step closer in achieving that dream,” Santiago added.