PPA steps up security measures at ports in anticipation of a busy Lenten Break

MANILA, 22 MARCH 2018—The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) has mobilized all its port security units 10 days before the Lenten Break to guarantee safe and convenient ports for the duration of the season.

PPA General Manager Jay Daniel R. Santiago, said, just like the past years, port operations during this Lenten Break is expected to be busy and challenging.

“Emergency response teams and security personnel in all PPA-controlled ports have been mobilized to ensure smooth operations,” Santiago said.

“PPA personnel are likewise directed to ensure proper coordination with other government enforcement agencies like the Philippine Coast Guard, the PNP Maritime Group and the Maritime Industry Authority, among others to complete the security loop of shipping and logistics,” Santiago stressed.

“These hightened security measures will continue until the end of the summer period,” Santiago explained.

This Lenten and summer break, the PPA is anticipating a 10-20% hike in passenger volume particularly in ports with high concentration of passengers like the Batangas Port, which is a jump-off point to Puerto Galera, Mindoro and eventually to Boracay via Caticlan; the North Port in Manila, which is considered as the country’s main domestic port; Tagbilaran port, which serves as receiving areas for people visiting the famous Panglao Island; Matnog in Sorsogon for those going to the Samar and Leyte provinces; Dumaguete which is due primarily to the number of students attending school in the said area; as well as Davao and Cagayan de Oro, among others.

The full deployment of several brand-new baggage and walk-thru metal scanners in key ports are likewise anticipated to reduce the risk of incidents in ports related to security.

Similarly, among the security procedures also being undertaken include the continuing visibility of PPA Police and security guards within the port area and Passenger Terminal Buildings (PTBs) as well as the provision of well ventilated PTBs, clean comfort rooms, nursing stations and other travel amenities including efficient and reliable Wi-Fi connectivity. Round-the-clock Medical and Passenger Assistance Counters and Passenger Help Desks for immediate assistance to passengers are also provided.

PPA is also designating an express lane for security procedures of passengers carrying minimal belongings while designation of holding, waiting, or embarkation areas to segregate screened from unscreened persons will likewise be made available.

However, the PPA is requesting passengers to segregate and declare metallic objects and bladed tools for industry use so that such items can be tagged, then turned over for safekeeping and finally be retrieved at the port of destination by the owner.

Vessel operators are likewise encouraged to assist in the information dissemination in the event of suspension of operations or ticketing for whatever reasons and to provide information when affected passengers can be accommodated in succeeding trips.

PPA also reiterated its earlier directive disallowing the selling of additional insurance coverage on top of the mandatory insurance cover already embedded in the tickets to passengers inside port premises.