• Port of GenSan passes international standards

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    THE port of General Santos City has passed international standards with flying colors, the government’s economic planning and policy-making body in Region 12, down south of the Philippines in Mindanao, has reported.

    GenSan’s port is the city’s gateway by sea, covering one base port, called the Makar Wharf; two terminal ports: Glan and Mabila; and four private ports: Dole, Cargill, General Milling Co., and Southern Fishing Inc. The Philippine Ports Authority’s (PPA) management office in General Santos City is oversees the city’s port.

    The Makar Wharf, centrally located at the tip of Sarangani Bay, serves as the city’s gateway for people and trade in Soccsksargen and handles various types of cargoes. It is the southern city’s main international seaport and is one of the finest seaports in the country.

    The port is complete with modern facilities like container yards, storage and weighing bridges, to name a few.

    According to the Regional Development Council (RDC) of the Soccsksargen Region—composed of the provinces of Cotabato, Sarangani, South Cotabato, and Sultan Kudarat—GenSan’s port scored high in port safety, health and environment management, and port security.

    The RDC, which operates under the National Economic Development Authority (Neda), said GenSan’s Port Safety, Health and Environmental Management System (PSHEMS) passed the external audit conducted by the Partnership in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia (Pemsea) in December 2015.

    The regional body, thus, recommended GenSan’s port system for international recognition. The port’s safety system facilitates efficient, safe, secure, and environment-friendly movement of cargoes in the port. The PPA’s regional office implements the system.

    Also last December, the Philippine Office of Transportation Security (OTS) and the International Port Security Programme-United States Coast Guard (IPSP-USCG) conducted a joint verification audit of the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code implementation in the GenSan port.

    Both the OTS and IPSP-USCG found the ISPS Standard Operating Procedures consistent with the port facility security plan and compliant with the ISPS Code.

    As the audit’s findings attested to the global standards of the GenSan’s port’s security measures, goods and cargoes from the local port are, thus, given continued access to ports in the United States and other countries that operate under the ISPS Code.

    In February, the TUV Rheinland Philippines, Inc.—the international certification body in the country—gave the PPA’s Port Management Office in Soccsksargen an ISO 9001:2008 certification for another three years from 2016.

    “As ISO 9001-certified, the GenSan port has met the requirements on meeting customer expectations,” the region’s development council said.

    The quality stamp specifically covers the port’s core business processes in entrance formalities, assessment and collection of vessel charges, and departure clearance.

    “Such service standard has translated into higher revenues for GenSan port,” the government’s economic planning body in the southern region said.

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