Lent, SumVac safety preparations begin



The Manila Times


Maritime And Logistics

IN anticipation of the huge number of passengers during the Lenten break and summer vacation nationwide, the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) has mobilized its personnel to ensure safety in various ports. It said early preparation is the key considering that this is the first time in three years that people can cross local borders without any restrictions. “Initially, you can expect a full manpower complement of all frontline personnel of PPA,” Santiago said during the press briefing at the sidelines of the inauguration of the Port of Coron last week. “All frontline personnel are disallowed [from taking] vacation leaves starting April 1,” he added. The PPA safety initiatives will form part of the Transport Department’s “Oplan Biyaheng Ayos: Semana Santa and Summer Vacation 2023” from April 2 to April 10, 2023. Among the common measures being implemented by PPA during peak seasons include the activation and augmentation of its Malasakit Help desks to assist passengers with their travel needs; properly manned counters and booths to minimize heavy queueing; operational hotlines and feedback systems for fast relay of important information; and 24/7 first-aid services within the port, among others. Ports with high concentration of passengers are Batangas, Mindoro, Bicol, Surigao, Iloilo and Dumaguete, among others, surging by more than 30-50 percent of their capacity daily for the entire duration of the break. Vessel operators, meanwhile, were encouraged to assist in the information dissemination in the event of suspension of operations or ticketing for whatever reasons and to provide information when affected passengers can be accommodated in succeeding trips.