A NEW passenger terminal complex undergoing finishing touches at the North Harbor in the Philippine capital Manila aptly showcases the Manila North Harbour Port Inc.’s going into full throttle to turn the hub into the country’s most modern domestic port.
After a year’s construction, the almost-finished Passenger Terminal Complex soft-opened on May 10 with the south side of the facility now in use by passengers of 2GO Shipping, which has consolidated its services at the North Harbor.
The terminal, which will be fully operational by the second half of July, has a 2,000-passenger capacity. It forms part of the P6-billion port modernization project that MNHPI is undertaking as part of its commitment to the Philippine Ports Authority when it won the 25-year contract to develop and operate the previously state-run port.
The main terminal building is divided into the south and north sections, the latter still unopened, that flank an arrival area.
Complete with facilities – comfort rooms with shower area, a diaper changing and lactating area; a clinic; prayer room, including a foot washroom for Muslims; a play area; spaces for the disabled and elderly; offices for shipping companies; and ATM booths – the main building is a structure comparable to an airport passenger terminal.
“This is best in the Philippines, air or sea,” remarks MNHPI chief executive officer Richard Barclay. “When you see a nice building, it stands out, doesn’t it?”
The terminal building is strategically located near the Pier 4 entrance.
Two metal detectors and two luggage x-ray scanners installed at the departure area will be complemented by cameras that will take each departing passenger’s photo for record purposes. A third x-ray scanner will later be installed.
Luggage carriers are free of charge and TV screens are already installed at the passenger lounges. Barclay said the terminal will also have electronic information boards. Signages come with Filipino translation to direct passengers easily in case of emergencies.
Photos taken by Roumina Pablo