8 APRIL 2020, MANILA—With the fight against the Coronavirus Disease expected to drag a little further, the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) has installed decontamination and misting tents in all its ports and terminals nationwide as another safety measure in the battle against the dreaded disease. The facility initially aims to disinfect all individuals entering and exiting the port premises.
The decontamination facilities sanitize all persons entering the ports from COVID-19 as well as several known bacteria and viruses by going through the disinfection booth and stepping on a foot bath, among others.
All the Port Management Offices have installed the sanitation booths in the pedestrian areas of all baseports and some terminals either through their own initiative or through partnerships with the private sector and other socio-civic organizations.
PPA General Manager Jay Daniel R. Santiago explained that the fight against the pandemic might take a little longer than expected even if the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Luzon as well as the general community quarantine (GCQ) imposed by the different Local Government Units nationwide are lifted.
“I think this will be the norm in the next couple of months even if the country manages to flatten the curve against this global pandemic,” Santiago stressed.
“With these sanitation tents or decontamination facilities in place at PPA-managed ports, we will be able to reduce significantly the risk of contamination from this disease,” Santiago explained.
He likewise added that he has issued a marching order to all PMOs to implement necessary measures to maintain a clean and sanitized port environment.
Meanwhile, the PPA as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility, is providing help to the other members of the port community such as porters, dockworkers and other stakeholders who were gravely or somehow affected by the country-wide implementation of the ECQ and the GCQ.
All its PMOs have initially distributed food packs and other relief items to an estimated 500 individuals working at the ports while also partnering with several private institutions and civic groups in distributing relief items and financial help to other individuals displaced by the ECQ and the GCQ.
PPA has likewise supported other community initiatives by allowing qualified individuals to leave town via the ports. Among those given assistance include a 7-year-old cancer patient from Iligan who needs to have his medical procedures in Cebu and a number of foreign nationals who need to catch their recovery flights to bring them back to their respective countries.
Similarly, PMOs are ordered to maintain a high-level of reliability and efficiency in cargo operations to ensure the smooth flow of goods into the local and international supply chain.
The PPA has likewise ensured the adequate supply of protective equipment for its frontline personnel like face masks and disinfection supplies like alcohol as well as food and other essentials.
“From beginning to end, PPA will be providing the needed first line of protection in and out of the ports while maintaining a high-level of CSR for its port community. A true manifestation of Malasakit at Serbisyo,” Santiago said.