CARGO volume handled by the Philippines’ ports in the first four months of this year grew 6.01% year-on-year to 59.37 million metric tons (MMT), data from the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) showed.
Containerized cargoes handled by the ports totaled 1.694 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU), up 1.4% from 1.671 million TEUs for the same period last year. The figure for April was 554,871 TEU.
On the financial side, PPA said its revenue for January to April of P2.915 billion was 0.73% lower than its target of P2.936 billion, but even so, it was 5.46% higher than in the same period last year.
Net income for the period was P1.553 billion, 7.23% lower than the P1.674 billion earnings a year earlier but 17.79% better than the target of P1.318 billion.
The Manila International Container Terminal (MICT), operated by International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI), remained the country’s top base port, registering a volume of 6.44 MMT or 10.85% of the total cargo throughput nationwide, and 610,428 TEUs of foreign containerized cargoes.
MICT’s share is just slightly lower than the 7.5 MMT registered by the whole port management office (PMO) Batangas, equivalent to 12.63% of the nationwide throughput.
North Harbor handled 4.37 MMT or 7.36% of the total volume. The port, however, ranked first in terms of domestic containerized cargoes handled, at 292,479 TEUs.
PPA general manager Atty Juan C. Sta. Ana, whose office released the January-April operational highlights in time for the agency’s recent 39th anniversary, said the nationwide throughput growth was driven by private ports.
The PPA said a substantial increase in cargoes was observed in 18 of the agency’s PMOs with the Port of Ormoc in Leyte recording the biggest growth of 59.19%, followed by the San Fernando, La Union port at 51.84%.
Sta. Ana attributed the throughput growth to increased shipments of grain, cement, fertilizer and copra, and high imports of copper, rock phosphates, fertilizer and chemical at the private ports of Ormoc, and greater exports of sand and mineral ore at San Fernando, in addition to similar exports from the PMOs of Surigao; Tagbilaran in Bohol and Puerto Princesa in Palawan.
For the Batangas PMO, 91.77% or 6.88 MMT of the throughput was accounted for by private ports. The two leading private ports in the province are ATI’s Batangas Container Terminal and ICTSI’s Bauan International Terminal Inc.
Sta. Ana took note of the 13.63% surge in exports as of the end of April, which he said was almost twice the increase in the level of imports for the same period.
“Large volume exportation of river sand, magnetite sand, crude minerals…fruits and fish were responsible for the impressive performance of the country’s exports,” Sta. Ana said.
Reflecting on the agency’s existence for almost four decades now, Sta. Ana said: “As an organization, I encourage everyone to keep on believing that PPA is strong and relevant.”
He said “the government has continued to place its expectations on PPA to take the lead in mapping water transport strategies and policies that address the various dimensions of good governance.” – Text and photo by Roumina Pablo