The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) reported a 7.42 percent increase cargo volume to 125.805 million metric tons (MMT) in the first half of the year, compared with 117.118 MMT a year earlier.
“Port traffic sustained its growth momentum propelled by surging domestic demand as well as private investment … in view of the government’s expansionary fiscal policy stance,” PPA General Manager Jay Daniel Santiago said in a statement on Wednesday.
Despite the security issues in Mindanao, cargo volume in ports in the region also expanded, Santiago said.
The ports in Northern Mindanao—Iligan, Ozamis, Cagayan de Oro, Butuan and Surigao—handled 182,433 metric tons (MT), up 5.33 percent from 173,191 MT in the same comparable period.
Passenger traffic was up 1.86 percent at 38.583 million from 37.879 million, driven by travelers during the Holy Week, with most passengers relying on Ro-Ro vessels, fastcrafts, and motorized bancas as primary mode of transportation.
“The positive stream in passenger traffic serviced at the ports may have also been the result of favorable response of the public to the government’s domestic ecotourism programs encouraging leisure inter-island Ro-Ro travel to tourist destinations such as Siargao, Puerto Galera, Bohol, Coron, El Nido, and other emerging tourism sites,” according to the PPA.
However, inclement weather caused successive cancellation of trips in turn caused a 0.61 percent drop in shipcalls 219,380 from 220,721.
The PPA said there were no congestion problems reported at the Manila South Harbor, Manila North Harbor and the Manila International Container Terminal.
The Manila ports registered a combined yard utilization of 53 percent with a combined berth occupancy rate of 57 percent and Quay Crane productivity of 26 moves per crane per hour.