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PPA eyes more green initiatives for sustainable port operations

  • The Philippine Ports Authority is preparing to implement more measures to ensure sustainable port operations and help mitigate climate change
  • PPA’s “Green Port” initiative is patterned after the Green Port Awards System of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Port Services Network
  • PPA has activated a team to guarantee compliance with the APEC GPAS scheme and formulate a Green Port Roadmap

The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) is preparing to implement more measures to ensure sustainable port operations as part of initiatives to help mitigate climate change.

PPA in a statement said it is giving priority to its “Green Port” initiatives patterned after the Green Port Awards System (GPAS) of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Port Services Network (APSN).

The GPAS program is a green evaluation system for ports in the APEC region developed by APSN to encourage green and sustainable development in port and port-related industries.

PPA said its green move also aims to complement initiatives of its international partners such as shipping lines to reduce greenhouse gases emitted by ships as well as by port equipment to a more manageable level.

PPA general manager Jay Daniel Santiago said the authority since 2016 has “laid down the groundworks and implemented various measures” for its Green Port initiative, and is now taking more advanced steps to help mitigate climate change.

“We are now shifting our focus towards sustainable port operations to reduce our carbon footprint similar to the initiatives being undertaken by our foreign counterparts,” Santiago added.

Among steps undertaken by the PPA include adopting in 2017 a 25-year port development roadmap, which includes plans for the Green Port project. The roadmap, made in close coordination with stakeholders, is also a commitment under the Ambisyon 2040, a 25-year vision crafted by the government to serve as guide in development planning.

Early this year, PPA issued a memo on mandatory planting of mangroves and trees for every contract and permit issued by the authority. Last July, PPA issued a circular banning single-use plastic products such as drinking straws and utensils for use in all ports, facilities, and offices under the authority’s jurisdiction.

Last September, PPA entered into a memorandum of understanding with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Philippines to reduce plastic wastes initially involving three ports: Manila North Harbor, Batangas Port, and Cagayan de Oro port. This project is set to be launched within the first quarter of 2022.

As a testament to its initiatives, PPA noted that Cagayan de Oro (CDO) port in Misamis Oriental recently received another GPAS recognition from APSN. The ports of CDO and Batangas were also conferred the GPAS in 2018.

READ: Batangas, CDO win APEC green port awards

“We want to duplicate the initiatives of our CDO and Batangas port with the remaining ports under our network,” Santiago said.

“To do this, we activated a team specifically tasked to guarantee compliance to this APEC GPAS scheme,” he added.

Aside from ensuring GPAS compliance, the team is tasked to formulate a Green Port Roadmap in relation to the Port Environment Policy being crafted.

Earlier, the Permanent International Association of Navigational Congresses, of which PPA is member, and the Japan Overseas Port Cooperation Association also recommended to the port authority the adoption of disaster-resilient ports in the face of climate change and to make ports environment-friendly by using sustainable energy sources.

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