300,000 passengers to flock to Cebu ports for Kalagkalag

AROUND 300,000 passengers are expected to flock to Cebu's ports and subports for the All Saints' and All Souls' Days observance on November 1 to November 2, 2022.

In a statement, Cebu Port Authority (CPA) acting deputy general manager Glenn Castillo said they expect more people to flock to their ports now that Covid-19 restrictions have been loosened.

During last year's Kalagkalag, CPA welcomed around 150,000 passengers.

In a separate interview, CPA spokesperson Mary Knoll Lague-Bolasa told SunStar Cebu that majority of their ports and subports have been fully repaired after they sustained damage due to Typhoon Odette (Rai) almost a year ago.

CPA has jurisdiction over the four domestic ports at the Cebu baseport in Cebu City and the 12 subports situated in Cebu Province. At least six subports located in Lapu-Lapu City, Camotes Islands, Dumanjug town, Danao City and Argao town were damaged by the typhoon last year.

Bolasa said of the six damaged subports, only the subport in Punta Engaño, Lapu-Lapu City is still in the process of being repaired.

Castillo said that all ports in Cebu will be on heightened alert from October 28 to November 4 to ensure the safety and security of all passengers who will be traveling to their home provinces or cities through the ports in time for the observance of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day.

“To further intensity our efforts to ensure safe and peaceful observance of Undas 2022 here in Cebu, more security personnel will be deployed in all ports to handle security, safety and passenger concerns,” Castillo added.

For the duration of the Oplan Biyaheng Ayos: Undas 2022, around 730 security and port personnel will be deployed to all ports in Cebu to guarantee the safety and comfort of passengers.

With the expected influx of passengers, Castillo also reminded the public to report any illegal ticket scalping by unauthorized persons and to book their tickets in advance to avoid heavy queuing outside the port area where most ticketing outlets are located.

Only passengers with boat tickets and valid identification cards (IDs) shall be allowed entry into the port at least two hours from the scheduled departure time.

CPA will strictly impose the “No ticket, No ID, No Entry Policy” in all ports and subports.

Castillo also urged the public to follow health protocols including wearing of face masks while inside passenger terminal buildings.

Malasakit Help Desks and first-aid stations will also be activated in passenger terminals to attend to various passenger concerns.

All port management offices were directed to ensure that all booths / counters / centers serving passengers are properly manned during operating hours.

Direct boarding of passengers to the vessel shall be allowed as may be deemed necessary in order to avoid crowding, inconvenience, or delay of the vessel’s departure provided that security, safety, and health protocols shall be observed.

Personnel from Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency will also conduct random inspection and K9 sweeping as part of the intensified campaign to interdict drug couriers passing through seaports. Personnel from the Philippine Coast Guard will also deploy bomb-sniffing dogs in port areas and passenger terminal buildings.

Castillo also assured all port users that daily disinfection activities are being conducted in all port passenger terminal buildings, port entry and exit points, shuttle buses and all other areas within the port that are highly exposed to passenger traffic. (JKV/PR)