PPA: Tabaco port changes are for passengers’ safety, security
posted 4-Mar-2019  ·  
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Facing criticism for the transfer of ferry ticketing offices and other changes at Tabaco port, the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) last week appealed to the public, particularly sea commuters, to cooperate with the new policies and give the agency a chance to make it work.

In a policy orientation and dialogue at the passenger terminal building at Virac port last Feb. 21,l 2019, the PPA Ports Management Office of Bicol led by acting port manager Fatima Reaso  said the changes are in consonance with its effort to upgrade or level up the standards of their present facilities and to beef up security at the ports.

She averred that it is not the intention of PPA to complicate the procedure in the passenger terminal but to make the services at par with the international standard of services, citing as an example the airports in the country where passenger get their tickets at the airline offices outside the airport.

“We understand the sentiments of the passengers since they are new to the policies,” Reaso stated, explaining the new policies and regulations recently implemented in all ports of the region as a result of a memorandum from the PPA central office in Manila.

According to Reaso, the new policies are in consonance with the agency’s effort to upgrade level up the standard of their present facilities and to beef up security at the ports.

Reaso said it is not the intention of PPA to complicate the procedure in the passenger terminal but to make the services at par with the international standard of services citing the example of airports in the country wherein passenger get their tickets at the airline offices which is outside the airport.

In the dialogue that ensued, Virac Mayor Sammy Laynes complained about the predicament of the passengers at Tabaco Port where the ferry ticketing offices were transferred from its original location inside the PTB and relocated at the building next to the ports main gate.

Laynes pointed out that instead of providing security and comfort to the passengers, the move exposed the passengers to the danger of accidents because they have to cross the road at the gate where vehicles pass in and out of the port.

Echoing the his sentiment, Vice Mayor Arlynn Arcilla disclosed that it was she who actually first complained about the new policy, noting that that passengers were already safe and comfortable with the ticketing booths inside the PTB compared to the new location where they are exposed to the weather.

Other stakeholders also raised concerns about the practice of allowing dangerous cargo inside passenger vessels and the PPA policy of not allowing passengers inside the bigger PTB building 1 and instead keeping them at the smaller building 2 which serves as their holding area.

On the other hand, the consumer group Kapisanan ng Mamimiling Katandunganon (KASAMA KA) urged the PPA management to revisit the imposition of the P30.00 terminal fee.

According to Eddie Rodulfo, who represented the group, the PPA had committed during the public hearing conducted by the agency several years ago to provide passengers going to and from the island province with a passenger terminal building complete with amenities for the comfort of this passengers.

At the conclusion of the dialogue, PPA’s Reaso assured that they have noted the issues raised in the meeting and promised that her office will not hesitate to conduct more dialogues with stakeholders to improve the services that they are providing to the public. (With a report from Ed Rodulfo)


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