MANILA — The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) on Thursday declared a red alert in preparation for the observance of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day.
In a statement, PPA said that the red alert will be imposed until the end of next week relative also to the initiatives being undertaken by the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina).
PPA general manager Juan C. Sta. Ana said that despite the short weekend, surge in passenger volume is still expected nationwide.
“We can’t take for granted the security of our ports. We should always be cautious and alert,” Sta. Ana said.
“I have already ordered our port managers to take all the necessary measures to reduce the inconvenience and to make sure that our ports are safe at all times,” he added.
The PPA chief said that he has also reiterated his directive barring private insurance firms from selling additional insurance cover for passengers inside PPA port premises to prevent arbitrary expense for the riding public.
PPA has also enhanced security procedures through maximum utilization of walk-through and baggage x-ray machines, walk through metal detectors, utilization of K-9 Units as well as continuing visibility of PPA Police and security guards within the port area and PTBs.
Passengers can meanwhile wait in well-ventilated Passenger Terminal building with clean comfort rooms, nursing stations and other travel amenities.
There will also be round-the-clock Medical and Passenger Assistance Counters and Passenger Help Desks ready to assist them.
The PPA also encouraged passengers to segregate and declare metallic objects and bladed tools for industry use so that such items can be tagged, then turned over for safekeeping and finally retrieve at the port of destination by the owner.
Likewise, vessel operators were also advised to actively assist in the information dissemination in the event that vessels stopped issuance of tickets for whatever reasons and to provide information when the affected passengers can be accommodated in the succeeding trips.
The PPA has meanwhile enhanced precautionary measure against any possible entry of the deadly Ebola virus. Sta. Ana said that heightened alert in all ports will still continue for the Ebola watch.
“…With the country already on the lookout to prevent the entry of the deadly Ebola virus to our country, a strict and constant security measures in our ports will be a deterrent not only against illegal elements but also against the virus,” Sta. Ana said.