• Philippine Ports Authority turns 40

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    AS Philippine Ports Authority(PPA) turns 40 today, it looks forward to more years of dedicated service with the tried and tested formula for success: corporate flexibility, sound financial status and dedicated employees.

    Created in 1974, the PPA has slowly evolved from what it is now from a mere port administration to a self-sustaining agency rendering public service. (Pls see related timeline article on page 7)

    With its theme Life begins at 40: Celebrating 40 years of dedicated service, PPA General Manager Juan C. Sta. Ana reiterates PPA 40 years of fruitful accomplishments in his message to the publushed commemorative book.

    “Our 40 years of PPA existence have been focused on building the country’s network of ports infrastructure and putting systems in place. We can proudly say our commitments in each of the four decades have been substantially done. In the past 40 years, we laid a solid corporate foundation and established an excellent reputation as a strong and reliable partner of the government in nation building. We know whereof we speak when we consider that throughout its 40 years, PPA has remarkably shown sustained and positive revenue generation and cargo volume, continuing asset, infrastructure build-up and dividends contribution to the national government, laid the foundation for a viable public-private partnership, exercised corporate responsibility and steadfastly nurtured its human capital to support PPA’s growth.”

    PPA also laid its plans and programs to guarantee that the country will continually cope or even surpass prevailing international trends. Among them are the following:

    Compliance to the Asean Economic Community (AEC). Five months before the Asean economic integration takes place in 2015, PPA is now currently updating its regulations to guarantee smooth implementation of AEC particularly those policies related to customs, immigration, quarantine and security.

    Privatization of ports through PPP. The agency is tapping the Public-Private Partnership program of the government in privatizing some major ports in the country particularly Davao. Two consultants who did a feasibility study have submitted their respective recommendations to the PPA. The board, on the other hand, is currently harmonizing the results to come up with a win-win solution that will modernize Sasa Wharf, the country’s major port for banana exports. PPA is also looking ar Cagayan de Oro and Zamboanga as the next ports up for privatization.

    Construction of Social Reform Ports. Initially, there are about 32 recommended areas where the Social Reform Ports will be constructed. The list includes Calayan Island in Cagayan; Tingloy, Talisay and Isla Verde in Batangas; Real and General Luna in Quezon; Dapdap and Manito in Albay; Magallanes in Sorsogon; Mandaon, San Jacinto and Royroy in Masbate; Dumaran in Palawan; Culasi and Concepcion in Iloilo; Hindang and Matalom in Leyte; Makiwalo, San Isidro, San Antonio, Vinisitahan, Victoria and San Vicente in Northern Samar; San Vicente, Gingoog and Jasaan in Misamis Oriental; Caub, Halian, San Fernando, Sta. Monica, General Luna and Pilar in Surigao del Norte.

    Further simplification of business processes. In compliance with the Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007 as well as in line with the thrust of the Department of Justice in promoting competition in the port industry, PPA is reducing its documentary requirements in some of its processes.The processes to be reduced include the documentary requirements for Applications for Permit to Operate (PTO) Ancillary Services and Permit to Occupy (PTO); Applications for Clearance to Develop Private Ports, Permit to Construct, Certificate of Registration and Permit to Operate Private Ports including renewal processes; Entrance/Clearance of Vessels; Entry/Withdrawal of Cargo from Government Ports; and Access Regulation for Trucks, Portusers and Pedestrians.

    Support the cruise tourism industry. PPA acknowledges that there is really a need to improve the cruise shipping infrastructure. In fact, the PPA has lined-up several infrastructure projects to support the booming cruise industry after the Philippines has become one of the major cruise destinations in Asia. In March of this year, PPA attended Cruise Shipping Miami 2014 to get the much-needed knowledge on the latest trend in cruising. So far, it identified eight ports as tourism gateways, which are aimed at developing international hubs for cruise liners. These include Davao, Bohol, Boracay, Cebu, Metro Manila, Puerto Princesa, Subic, and Zamboanga. These make up the nation’s major nautical cruise arteries. It has also lined up various port programs for the development of cruise terminals. These include the Ports of Puerto Princesa, Currimao in Ilocos Norte and Catagbacan in Bohol province.

    Continued improvement and rehabilitation of insurgency-, quake-, typhoon- stricken port. PPA is inclined to rehabilitate several ports affected by local insurgency such as Zamboanga port that received significant damaged when the Moro National Liberation Front attacked Zamboanga City in September of last year. In October, major ports in Bohol including its main hub Tagbilaran were severely damaged when a magnitude 7 quake rocked the province. Right now, port operations have yet to return to normalcy but PPA is stepping up the drive to rehabilitate the ports. Also, the PPA continues to rehab the ports damaged by Super typhoon Yolanda and has tapped the private sector to help in the rehab.

    Implementation of its Rationalization Plan. The organization is also implementing a Rationalization Plan that was already approved for implementation by the Governance Commission for government-owned and controlled corporations.

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