WITH close to P200 million in revenue, the Caticlan Jetty Port and Passenger Terminal is fast becoming a major financial bloodline for the province of Aklan, prompting state auditors to ask terminal officials to update its lagging manual of operations on top of modernization plans.
The Commission on Audit (COA) lauded the performance of the seaport servicing tourists between mainland Aklan to Boracay Island, touted as one of the favored tourist destinations for its pristine shore.
In 2012, the jetty port terminal shored up P197.52 million, a sterling 66-percent increase from P118.4 million in 2011.
Details showed that for 2012 alone, the Caticlan terminal amassed P84.66 million; the Cagban terminal collected P66.6 million; the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) roll-on, roll-off terminal raised P23.86 million; while the PPA operations mustered P22.38 million.
The audit team called this an “achievement” since it pours in additional funds to finance provincial projects and reduces Aklan’s dependence on the Internal Revenue Allotment, “which is a desirable financial condition.”
In fact, the province already invested on modernization, among others, installation of turnstile machines, automatic entry card for visitors, baggage x-ray and scanning machine, close circuit television monitor.
Improvement of facilities like the construction of holding area, renovation of existing facilities and the on-going expansion or reclamation area of the were also done.
“These developments and the influx of tourists and visitors, increase of additional flights, night schedule flights, rentals of business spaces and demand for better services require the update of existing policies and procedures of the [seaport],” the audit reported.
All seemed perfect until the audit team reviewed the existing policies and procedures of the terminal, including the Citizen’s Charter Act and Administrative Code.
The two were found “no longer adequate to cope with the present modernization programs, multi-business operations.”
“Other necessary control measures in the total management of the enterprise are not provided. There is an absence of a manual of operation as guide for proper management,” COA said.
This present set-up hampers the smooth operation and added productivity of the port, auditors commented.
COA asked port officials that with the improvement of modern facilities and expansion of services, there is also a need to improve existing procedures and regulate properly the management and operation of the seaport.
“The management should create a team to update the existing policies and procedures and come up with the Manual of Operation of the enterprise,” auditors said.
In response, port officials said that they already updated their manual of operations in line with the updated Revenue Code of Aklan. JOHN CONSTANTINE G. CORDON