The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) will implement on January 14 the updated and revised version of its rule book on safety, health, and environmental management (SHEM), which incorporates rules on handling and transporting dangerous cargoes.
The port authority, under Administrative Order No. 07-2015, has set down guidelines for implementing SHEM—also called the PPA Orange Book—in all ports it supervises, for the compliance and guidance of port users and stakeholders.
The AO was issued by recently resigned PPA general manager Atty Juan Sta Ana and received by the Records Division of PPA on December 23, 2015. It was published in a national newspaper on December 30, 2015.
PPA said the guidelines are meant to “ensure the safety and protection of all port users, passengers and port workers while inside the port premises.”
The Orange Book also aims to “promote and sustain an environment-friendly workplace in all ports and harbors of the country and ensure the health and welfare of all port users, passengers and workers.”
These goals will be realized through established environmental monitoring schemes and management measures that are “geared towards the protection of the environment.” These measures are to be complemented by efforts to “continually improve the implementation of environmental policies in the port through the adoption of international and national standards and best practices.”
The updated guidelines are also intended to “ensure the proper and safe handling/transport/storage of dangerous goods in ports.”
The PPA Orange Book took its name from the United Nations Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods. The UN manual is a guidance document for harmonizing regulations on dangerous goods transport.
The updated PPA SHEM replaces outdated regulations with new ones, according to PPA Safety Specialist Noli Villanueva in a presentation last year at a forum jointly organized by the Philippine International Seafreight Forwarders Association, Inc. and PortCalls.
Under AO 07-2015, implementation of and compliance with SHEM will be ensured by PPA Port Management Offices (PMOs) and Terminal Management Offices (TMOs). Cargo handling operators and terminal operators should also strictly adhere to the updated Orange Book.
The book is divided into three volumes: Volume I: Safety and Health in Ports; Volume II: Environmental Management in Ports; and Volume III: Transport, Handling and Storage of Dangerous Goods in Ports.
Highlights of Volume III include the addition to the Dangerous Goods List of other substances which have been identified as “Health Hazard” under Class 9, Miscellaneous Dangerous Substances, and which were not included in previous PPA regulations. These substances include urea, soda ash, clinker, and fertilizer that contains nitrate compound.
The revised manual also now requires the use of salvage packaging as a precaution against dangerous goods spillage or leakage.
Moreover, it requires the ship master, shipping agent, or shipping representative to submit a signed dangerous goods manifest to alert the PPA about incoming toxic shipments.
Requirements pertaining to sizes and measures of markings, labels, and placards of the different classes of dangerous goods have also been added.
At the same time, the port authority amended the responsibilities of PPA PMOs, Port District Offices, cargo handling operators and terminal operators, and other stakeholders who handle dangerous goods.
It likewise included an emergency plan and response program as well as emergency information that were lifted from the Port Safety, Health and Environmental Management Code and International Maritime Organization Recommendation on the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods and Related Activities in the port areas.
Highlights of Volume I include those concerning annual risk assessment; accident/incident reporting to the Regional Labor Office; identification of areas where personal protective equipment is used; standardized safety signage; and enhanced emergency preparedness and response procedures.
The revised rules also mandate that designs of passenger terminal buildings conform to the Persons with Disability Law, R.A. 7277, Magna Carta for Disabled Persons, and Batas Pambansa 344, or the Accessibility Law.
As for environmental management, amendments include the mandatory collection of ship’s wastes by vessels that call PPA ports; mandatory installation of materials recovery facility; ambient air quality monitoring and emission testing; water quality monitoring and sampling; strict compliance with the Environmental Impact Assessment; and implementation of the Revised Rules and Procedures, Containment, Abatement, and Control of Oil Marine Pollution and the National Oil Spill Contingency Plan.
PPA said violation of any of the SHEM provisions will be meted penalties under the agency’s regulations and any other applicable laws. — Roumina Pablo
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