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Port rehabilitation, volume growth top PPA agenda for 2017

Port rehabilitation, volume growth top PPA agenda for 2017

WASHINGTON: The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) expects higher revenue from operations this year amid increased efficiency, with plans to further improve and develop major gateways around the country. The Philippine Ports Authority expects higher revenue from operations this year with plans to further improve and develop major gateways around the country. — BW FILE PHOTO

PPA General Manager Jay Daniel R. Santiago said the government is looking to rehabilitate or upgrade seaports particularly the Iloilo port and Abra de Ilog in Mindoro, expand the port in General Santos City and pursue an ongoing rehabilitation and construction of a passenger terminal building in Cagayan de Oro. “Our volume is primarily dictated by our private operators, but we are very optimistic that our economy will improve, that’s why we’re forecasting increased revenue and increased volume for [this] year,” PPA General Manager Jay Daniel R. Santiago said in a recent interview. Although PPA did not disclose specific figures, its chief said the agency is looking at “double-digit” expansion in both revenue and volume for 2017.

The volume of cargo passing through the country’s ports rose 9% in the first nine months of the year, PPA earlier reported, citing the growing economy and the rush to have goods in stores by the Christmas season. Throughput hit 183.73 million metric tons (MMT) in January to September period compared with the 168.074 MMT logged a year earlier. Foreign volumes rose by 12.72%, boosted by a 15% increase in exports to 55.134 MMT for the period in review. Domestic volume, meanwhile, grew 3.87% to 67.139 MMT.

Income from port operations meanwhile grew by around 16% in the first nine months of 2016, on higher revenue from cargo-related fees and lower expenses with PPA’s net income rising by 16.11% to P5.99 billion in the January to September period.  As of end-2016, Mr. Santiago said in terms of revenue, PPA is already posting “double-digit growth, nearing 20% compared to the previous year.” “Efficiency, expansion will drive the growth this year… unlike before, a great part of the revenue is from non-traditional streams like storage — but what we’re looking at, we’re really pushing our operators to improve the efficiency of their operations so that we can realize better cargo handling revenue,” the PPA chief added.

Part of PPA’s plan for 2017 is also to start the development of the Davao Sasa Port by early this year and possibly fund the project — estimated to be about P4.7 to about P4.9 billion — internally. PPA is also looking to develop more international container terminals nationwide to improve volume particularly in the Visayas and Mindanao. The planned international container terminals will be owned and operated by the PPA. “We’re planning to look at and develop more container, more international container terminals in locations outside of Manila — in the Mindanao area. We’re also looking at putting up in international container terminal in Central Visayas in order to improve the volume,” Mr. Santiago added.