PPA readies ports, facilities vs ‘Habagat’

13 JUNE 2023, MANILA — The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) is undertaking various preparatory activities to ready its ports and facilities nationwide amid the onset of the rainy season with the enhanced effects of the southwest monsoon or ‘Habagat.’

In line with the preparations, PPA General Manager Jay Santiago has directed the agency’s 25 Port Management Offices (PMOs) to ensure that all port facilities are ready to cater to passengers concerns especially those who will be affected by trip cancellations of their respective shipping lines due to inclement weather conditions.

“Since passengers’ welfare remains to be our utmost priority, I instructed all the PMOs to make sure that we are able to immediately cater to the needs and concerns of the passengers. Mayroon nga po kaming PPA-lugaw sa mga pantalan sa buong bansa po yan, para masiguro na may makakain ang mga nag-aantay na pasahero sakali mang magkaroon ng cancellation o delays ang kanilang sinasakyan,” GM Santiago said.

Aside from ensuring functional generator sets for emergency use during power outages, PPA PMOs also conduct regular inspections within its facilities to guarantee the proper maintenance and safeguarding the good working condition of all its equipment. Charging stations and water refilling stations are also available for all the passengers free of charge.

Earlier this month, the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) announced the start of the rainy season to which western parts of the country may experience above-normal rainfall due to enhanced ‘Habagat.’

“El Niño increases the likelihood of below-normal rainfall conditions, which could bring negative impacts (such as dry spells and droughts) in some areas of the country. However, enhanced Southwest monsoon season (Habagat) may also be expected which may result in above-normal rainfall conditions over the western part of the country,” PAGASA said in a statement.

During inclement weather conditions, PPA closely works along with the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and local government units (LGUs) to ensure passenger safety at the ports which at some instances, include the transportation of individuals from ports to evacuation centers.

“Apart from precautionary measures in place at ports during inclement weather, we would also like to ask for understanding from the public at times that queues get longer than expected at ports since passengers and vessels accumulate within its vicinity when rough seas cause trip cancellations,” GM Santiago added.

Meanwhile, as part of its continuing efforts on port development and improvements, PPA promptly initiated rehabilitation works to its damaged facilities subsequent to typhoons, the same way it levels up its port operations to global standards by constructing modern and necessary facilities.