Reopening of ports, passenger trips considered by PPA in GCQ areas

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The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) said Wednesday it is now looking at reopening sea travel, including passenger trips in areas under or general community quarantine as revenues dropped 79% in March.

PPA general manager Jay Daniel Santiago said they are now coordinating with local government units (LGUs) to check if passenger trips may be allowed.

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“Nagtalo na rin tayo ng ang mga local government unit ay pumapayag na puwede na ang mga pasaherong pambiyahe,” Santiago said during the Laging Handa virtual briefing on Wednesday.

“Ang Maritime Industry Authority ay nakikipag-ugnayan sa mga shipping companies, sa mga barko, na kung maari ay puwede na nilang pabiyahehin ang kanilang mga barko doon sa mga areas na allowed ang passenger vessels,” he added.

(The Maritime Industry Authority is coordinating with shipping companies, ships if they could allow their ships to travel in areas where passenger vessels are permitted.)

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“Dahil sa community quarantine na dinulot ng COVID-19 pandemic, naapektuhan ang revenues ng ating mga pantalan. In fact, sa buwan ng Marso year-on-year, bumagsak ang revenues ng ating mga pantalan na halos 79%,” said Santiago.

(Because of the community quarantine brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, the revenues of our were affected. In fact, for March year-on-year, the ’ income dropped by almost 79%.)

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Reopening of ports, passenger trips considered in GCQ areas

Total revenues were recorded at P18.532 billion in 2019, up by 5% from P17.5 billion in 2018.

“Ngayon umaasa tayo sa unti-unting pagluwag ng mga areas under general community quarantine ay unti-unting makakarecover tayo sa pagbagsak ng revenue pero hindi tayo umaasa na matutularan natin ang revenues sa mga nakaraang taon,” Santiago said.

(Now we hope that as the lockdown eases in areas under general community quarantine that we could recover from our losses in revenue but we are not hopeful that it would be the same as last year’s revenue.)

Department of Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade earlier said authorities should “seriously consider” to reopen the airports in GCQ (general community quarantine) areas.

Tugade said reopening the airports would help the domestic tourism amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

“The reopening of airports in GCQ areas to commercial aviation will gradually jump-start airline operations now hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. This will plant the seeds for domestic tourism. This should seriously be considered,” Tugade said.

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