TAGBILARAN CITY – Stung by criticisms from the riding public and government officials for congestion and inconvenience of the passengers prevailing at city seaport, the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) has revised a strategy regulating or limiting the entry of vehicles into the port, PPA information officer Epelito Arao-arao said in an interview yesterday. And the regulation will be immediately implemented. Arao-arao bared this after the meeting held yesterday morning with transport and other stakeholders. Part of the regulation will be allowing only 40 vehicles at a time, say about 30 minutes inside the port for transporting or picking up passengers, including those privately-driven after vessels dock during peak hours at past eleven in the morning.
Passes are provided for getting inside the port are numbered up to 40 and can be secured upon paying the entrance fee at gate one. If all 40 passes are already taken, gate one security guards should advice the incoming vehicles of the situation and will not allow more vehicles to come in, he said.
Tourits vans and those own by hotels and resorts will be instructed to park at the left side of the port just across the passenger terminal, he said.
On the covered walkways for the passengers, Arao-arao said that it would be hard for PPA or contractor to provide one considering that the port rehabilitation works will be finished by September this year.
And if PPA provide for a makeshift walkways using a taupaulins or similar material to cover it might not be feasible since this can be blown away especially at the onset of moonsoon winds, he said.
PPA hopes that with the new arrangement or regulation, the congestion might be minimized, he said.
Earlier, PPA and the contractor doing the rehabilitation on earthquake-hit port were under fire for failure to provide facilities for the benefit of the out-going and in-coming passengers.
Vetaran provincial Board Member Atty. Tomas D. Abapo, Jr. stood up during the regular session of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan last wek and described what appeared to be ineptitude on the part of the PPA and the contractor in providing facilities, like a covered court for shades, for the passengers’ convenience. He described the situation of the port area as “topsy-turvy.”
He said that the chaotic situation of the city seaport includes the traffic jam, and the passengers have to walk from the gate to the port and those just disembarked also do the same under the heat of the sun. This is inconvenience and suffering of the passengers, Abapo said, adding that the passengers’ long walk under the heat might cause heatstroke because the contractor did not provide covered walkways.
PPA and contractor also did not provide notice when the rehabilitation project be finished, he said. This prompted the SP to approve his motion for the PPA management to appear in next week’s session to shed light on the inconvenient condition of the city port. (rvo)