Home » Breaking News, Maritime, Ports/Terminals » Dockworkers go on strike at Port of General Santos

The Port of General Santos handles approximately 96% of domestic and international general and containerized cargo in the SOCSKSARGEN (South Cotabato, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and General Santos) area. Photo from www.asianterminals.com.ph

The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) said operations at the Port of General Santos remain uninterrupted despite a strike by dockworkers against private cargo-handling operator South Cotabato Integrated Port Services, Inc. (SCIPSI).

“Everything is under control and PPA is on top of the situation,” PPA General Santos port manager Cesar Dataya said in a statement. “PPA is doing its best to reduce whatever inconvenience or delays the strike is bringing to the efficient dispense of public service.”

The strike, which began on May 19, stemmed from a negotiation deadlock involving the new collective bargaining agreement between SCIPSI and its dockworkers’ union, Makar-SENTRO.

The Port of General Santos, also known as Makar Wharf, handles approximately 96% of domestic and international general and containerized cargo in the SOCSKSARGEN (South Cotabato, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and General Santos) area.

SCIPSI is a joint venture between International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) and Asian Terminals, Inc. The Manila-based terminal operators acquired 71.40% of the issued and outstanding capital stock of SCIPSI in 1999. In 2008, ICTSI acquired an additional 12.58% of the issued and outstanding capital stock from SCIPSI stockholders.

“We are encouraging the public to stay calm amid the current situation as we continue to work double-time to resolve the situation,” Dataya added.

PortCalls is still waiting for an official statement from SCIPSI. Efforts to reach Makar-SENTRO have not been successful.

The Port of General Santos is situated at the head of the Saranggani Bay in the southern coast of Mindanao and is located on the mainstream of international shipping routes. It serves as a gateway to agricultural and marine products of SOCSKSARGEN and neighboring provinces of Davao del Sur and North Cotabato.

SCIPSI supports the major canning and other manufacturing industries in the Mindanao peninsula.

PPA said the port is undergoing major facelift to accommodate containerized cargo outside of the traditional self-sustaining cargo vessels. – Roumina Pablo

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