AS THE country celebrates the Maritime Archipelagic Nation Awareness Month (Mana Mo) this September by virtue of Presidential Proclamation 316, s. 2017, the Cebu Port Authority (CPA) highlights the remarkable role of ports and maritime industries in the national response against Covid-19 and in economic sustainability.
This year’s theme "Our Seas, Our Livelihood, Our Heritage: Connecting Lives and Nations" of the Mana Mo celebration aims to promote increased public awareness and appreciation of our country's maritime and archipelagic concerns as integral not only to national security but also to our country's development.
"In many ways, our experience has affirmed the remarkable role of ports in Covid-19 response. The responsiveness of the Port of Cebu helped in ensuring the unhampered movement and delivery of goods and other essential commodities such as food, medical supplies, fuel among others amidst the challenges brought about by Covid-19," said CPA General Manager Leonilo Miole.
This is evident because CPA was able to outperform pre-pandemic cargo throughput levels by 5.52 percent, registering a total of 41,802,059 metric tons in August 2021 compared to 39,615,701 metric tons in August 2019. The increase can be greatly attributed to the port’s roll-on/roll-off (Roro) operations.
On passenger traffic, on the other hand, given the strict travel restrictions and community quarantine protocols imposed by the Covid-19 Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) and local government units, CPA registered a total of 3,115,235 arriving and departing passengers passing through the ports of Cebu as of August 2021 compared to the pre-pandemic record of 15,630,877 passenger traffic in August 2019.
Miole also thanked all the port frontliners and port stakeholders for their services in maintaining the 24/7 port operations while at the same time ensuring the safety of all port users.
To help address the global need for a fresh crew of ships, and to ensure the health, safety, welfare, and employment of seafarers, CPA together with other government agency partners from the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), Maritime Industry Authority (Marina), Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ), Bureau of Customs (BOC), Bureau of Immigration (BI) and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (Owwa) activated the one-stop-shop (OSS) for the Crew Change Hub last October 2020.
After almost one year of operation, the Port of Cebu Crew Change Hub has already served a total of 131 foreign vessels and 1,722 on-signing and off-signing Filipino and foreign seafarers.
"While the Port of Cebu Crew Change Hub primarily aims to facilitate the speedy movement and transfer of stranded seafarers off their vessels, at the same time, this has also generated revenues for CPA with the collection of port charges from vessels availing the services of the crew change hub," added Miole.
Since October 2020, the Port of Cebu crew change hub has generated a total of P 3,547,785.44 from ship dockage or anchorage fees.
As CPA continues to work towards recovery, the Authority also looks forward to the completion of the P1.6B capacity building projects being implemented in the Cebu Baseport, which include the Expansion of the R.C Deck and Back-Up Area Phase 2 and 3; the Construction of Pier 5 and the Repair of Existing Retaining Wall, Concreting of Damaged Pavement, Provision of Flood Light Tower and Drainage Systems @ Berths 29-30, Malacañan sa Sugbo Area, which will ultimately stimulate the local economy and promote Cebu’s economic growth substantially.
Other major port infrastructure projects in Cebu are the New Cebu International Container Port (NCICP) in Consolacion, Cebu, and the San Fernando Port Project.
With the ongoing threats of Covid-19, CPA shifted to an all-digital Mana Mo celebration, adapting to the so-called "new normal" through the production and dissemination of the New Normal Port of Cebu Crew Change Hub Infomercial and CPA Covid-19 Response Video to raise public awareness of the continued port operations and measures implemented by CPA to deliver safe and secure port services.
Check out our latest CPA Covid-19 Response Video and Port of Cebu Crew Change Hub Infomercial at our official Facebook Page at Cebu Port Authority, or visit our website at www.cpa.gov.ph. (PR)