Port operator International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) has agreed to extend its contract to operate Tacloban Port for another six months while oil giant Pilipinas Shell agreed to donate another P6 million worth of fuel.
The Tacloban Port was destroyed on Nov. 8, 2013 when super typhoon Haiyan (local name Yolanda) swept across Central Visayas and neighboring regions.
ICTSI signed an agreement last year with the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) to operate the Tacloban port, while Shell signed a pact to provide P6 million worth of fuel for the port rebuilding work.
PPA general manager Juan C. Sta. Ana said the extension of the two agreement guarantees the sustainability of port operations at the area.
The new agreement carries the provision of an earlier pact wherein ICTSI agreed to run Tacloban port using its own equipment for a token fee of P1 for an additional six months.
PPA was forced to tap the services of ICTSI to temporarily run the Tacloban Port to give its existing cargo-handling operator, Leyte Integrated Port Services, Inc., time to recover as it equipment were immensely damaged by the typhoon.
The equipment brought in by ICTSI and fuelled by Shell include 12 forklifts of different sizes, seven generator sets, six tower lights to support night operations, several units of reach stackers for mobility of cargo and an additional five payloaders for clearing operations.
Meanwhile, the PPA – through its Corporate Social Responsibility – is partnering with Gawad Kalinga’s (GK) “Walang Iwanan” program in its bid to further help in rehabilitating the earthquake- and typhoon- ravaged areas.
Sta. Ana has already met with the different maritime stakeholders to encourage them to join the noble cause and so far initially generated 200 houses to be donated by Pilipinas Shell.
The other stakeholders, including the Philippine Chamber of Arrastre and Stevedoring Operators, Philippine Ship Agents Association, Association of International Shipping Lines as well as individual shipping lines such as 2GO, Magsaysay and Gothong, have all pledged to provide needed manpower for the “Walang Iwanan” project.
The “Walang Iwanan” project requires volunteers to spend at least five days in the 12 areas devastated by the typhoon. Volunteers can choose from the three different schedules devised by GK, such as the Holy Week, the Labor Week or the Independence Week.
The PPA, GK and the different stakeholders are now working out how to bring in the expected thousands of volunteers to the affected areas. –– Roumina M. Pablo
Photo from ppavis.com