STATE-RUN Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) expects revenue growth this year to be flat compared to last year due to issues in the mining industry which have affected cargo volumes.
“Last year was a great year for the agency as we were able to post significant figures in terms of cargo volumes and revenues,” PPA General Manager Jay Daniel Santiago said in a statement on Tuesday.
“This year, however, will be different as we anticipate it to be nominal due to several developments particularly in the mining industry, which has been one of our growth areas the past couple of years,” Santiago said.
The low revenue expectation is also “attributable to the continuing volatility of the Philippine currency,” the PPA said.
According to the PPA, areas hard hit by mining industry suspensions include those ports under the Port Management Offices of Surigao, Nasipit, Palawan, Batangas, Manila, and Northern Luzon, among others.
These ports handle bulk of the shipments from the mining firms which include nickel, manganese, copper, pumice, marble, silica sand, iron ore, chromium, silver, and zinc.
“Based on our review, almost all our business aspects have already reduced targets and budgets for 2017, ranging from the original 20 percent to only 3 percent,” Santiago said.
Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Gina Lopez recently ordered the closure of 23 mining companies due to “their proximity to watershed areas.”
However, “PPA will remain resilient and committed to carry out its mandate of better connectivity and service amidst these developments,” Santiago said.
PPA registered net profit last year of P6.2 billion, 8 percent higher than that of the previous year, driven by growth in lay-up fees, berthing fees and remittances from Asian Terminals Inc. Total revenues grew 7 percent to P14.2 billion in 2016.
For this year, its revised operating expenses increased to P16.22 billion from last year’s P9.33 billion, while total capital expenditure more than doubled to P7.42 billion this year from P3.5 billion in 2016.
The higher operating expenses will be used to implement port projects including the modernization of Mindanao and Visayas ports like Iloilo, Gen. Santos, Cagayan de Oro and Zamboanga and the improvement of all passenger terminal buildings, among others, the PPA said.