PPA reports 3-digit jump in passenger traffic

Elijah Felice Rosales - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Philippine ports posted a triple-digit jump in the number of passengers they facilitated in the third quarter, but saw a decline in the volume of cargoes due to various challenges, according to the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA).

Passenger traffic in domestic ports tripled to 15.72 million in the third quarter, up sharply from only 4.71 million a year ago, signaling the resurgence of travel activities across the country.

However, similar to the previous quarters, the PPA recorded no cruise ship activities yet, with the luxury shipping industry finding it difficult  to recover from the pandemic.

Further, the PPA said that the number of travelers ferried by roll-on, roll-off ships went up by 59 percent to 2.48 million from 1.56 million. Based on PPA data, most of the travelers either came from or headed to Visayas.

The PPA said that Philippine ports registered a 30-percent increase in the number of ship calls to 119,977 during the period. Domestic vessels made up most of the shipcalls at 116,930, while foreign ships accounted for the remaining 3,047.

On the other hand, the PPA said that cargo volume slid by three percent to 70.62 million metric tons (MMT) in the third quarter, from 72.79 MMT during the same period last year.

Between July and September, global trade was battered by multiple hardships – from the conflict in Europe and supply constraints, to risks of recession and inflationary pressures – that affected cargo traffic worldwide.

Broken down, domestic throughput went up by five percent to 25 MMT while foreign cargo slid by seven percent to 45.62 MMT.

Container traffic rose by 10 percent to 2.04 million TEUs from 1.85 million TEUs. The domestic segment increased by nine percent to 759,884 TEUs, while the foreign bracket improved by 10 percent to 1.28 million TEUs.

In October, President Marcos reappointed Jay Santiago as the general manager of the PPA. The returning chief of the state-run firm was tasked to automate port operations and review logistics costs to ensure that the economy benefits from the resurgence of trade and travel.

Santiago said he was directed by Marcos to raise the efficiency of ports, both in terms of service and infrastructure, to simplify procedures for shippers and passengers.

He said the PPA would also work on making logistics cost reasonable in line with the directive issued by Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista to the agency.

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