In an archipelago like the Philippines, an efficient and effective port management is necessary to facilitate the transportation of goods and services.
Port administration, which benefits citizens economically and socially, is a huge task.
As a result, a state agency was established to spearhead port operations in the country.
This is the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA).
For 44 years, the agency has been providing port services of global standards to local and international maritime clients.
At the present, the PPA continues to sail the high seas.
Despite a weakened Philippine peso, it posted a 16% hike in its net income in the January to November 2017 period through its sound financial condition.
The agency earned P 8.310 billion at this period, higher than the P7.164 billion posted a year earlier.
Taking a dip
Prior to the creation of the PPA, port administration in the Philippines, including maintenance and revenue collection, was facilitated by the Bureau of Public Works (BPW) and the Bureau of Customs (BOC).
Later, the BOC proposed the creation of a separate government agency that will be tasked to integrate the functions of port operations, cargo handling, port development and maintenance. This will enable the BOC to concentrate on tax collection.
Hence, the PPA was created. Eventually, the scope and functions of the PPA was broadened to facilitate the implementation of an integrated program for the planning, development, financing, operation and maintenance of ports in the entire archipelago.
The National Ports Advisory Council (NPAC) was established after some time to strengthen cooperation between the government and the private sector. It is also tasked to exact reasonable administrative fines for specific violations of its rules and regulations, thus empowering the PPA.
Leading the voyage
The agency sustains its growth momentum in port operations with registered increase in revenues as well as in key port performance metrics.
Last year, total revenues grew by 6.71% or P13.846 billion from P12.976 billion collected in the same period in 2016.
Port revenue went up by 6.61% or P13.754 billion from P12.901 billion due primarily to increase in volume of traffic at the ports as well as the adjustment in foreign exchange rates.
The PPA administration aims to infuse a culture of safety in port operations and convenience of passengers in different ports. It also aims to transform the agency into a more dynamic, transparent and service-oriented agency through reduced permitting process and documentation.
Because of this, the PPA migrated to automated, modernized and mobile operations earlier this month.
The agency replaced all its desktop computers with state-of-the-art laptop computers for mobility and environment-friendly energy consumption.
Furthermore, the agency seeks to install modern scanners in all ports with high concentration of passengers to ensure safety and security of the public. PPA is also completing its electronic e-payment system in all the 115 PPA-controlled ports nationwide to become a full e-commerce migration before the end of the administration.
With efforts to meet the demands of global trade and to transform into a more responsive government organization, the PPA will surely continue to sail the high seas.