Philippine Ports Authority set to Upgrade Infrastructure for ASEAN 2015

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The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) has announced that it will pursue several major port projects this year in preparation for the Philippines’ integration with the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015.

PPA General Manager Juan Sta. Ana explained that repairs to ports damaged by typhoon Haiyan and the modernization of ports in Iloilo, General Santos, Cagayan de Oro and Zamboanga will be among the projects the PPA will pursue this year.

“We are expected to undertake missionary port projects in support of the government’s social reform agenda. This year, we are expected to introduce breakthrough changes in our policies particularly in the streamlining of our requirements, more deployment of technology-driven processes to improve the delivery of our services and reform in the modality of adjusting cargo-handling tariff and other charges and fees,” he said.

According to the PPA’s General Manager, there is a significant amount of work to be done before ASEAN integration in 2015.

“We have to be competitive in our facilities, processes, services and manpower skills to be able to take advantage of the immense opportunities that a single ASEAN Economic Community would offer.”

Last Thursday, the PPA announced a 47 percent increase in earnings during the first nine months of 2013. Sustained growth in cargo volume boosted the port authority’s net income from January to September 2013 to PHP4.49 billion – up by PHP1.43 billion from PHP3.06 billion in the first nine months of 2012.

Port revenues generated from remittances from terminal operators, vessels and cargo and cargo handling increased to PHP8.14 billion, an over 23 percent increase from 2012.

This increase in revenues is partially attributable to a significant rise in cargo volume, which rose by nearly 3 percent last year. The PPA attributed the surge in cargo throughput to an increase in exports such as crude minerals, coconut oil and nickel ore, and an increase in imports of grains, fertilizers, coal and fuel.

Passenger volume also surged by 5.22 percent, with nearly 37 million domestic and international passengers passing through the nation’s ports in 2013.

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