Home » Ports/Terminals » PPA mulls integrated online booking, payment at RoRo ports

The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) is proposing an online application that integrates vessel booking and payment system for roll-on-roll-off (Ro-Ro) ports.

The One Ticketing System (OTS) is an online app integrating on a single platform the booking and payment process for bus, ship and passenger terminal, PPA Port Operations and Services Department manager Lilian Javier said in a presentation during the 2019 Maritime Safety Summit on August 30.

Javier said OTS will serve as a real time system with a single window concept for processing all transactions needed by the government, the bus and shipping companies, and the general public into one single portal.

Javier said the OTS also complies with the International Maritime Organization’s mandatory requirement for the electronic exchange of information on cargo, crew, and passengers as part of the revised Convention on Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic (FAL). The FAL aims to harmonize procedures for a ship’s arrival and stay at, and departure from, the port.

In addition, the proposed application is in compliance with Republic Act No. 11032, or the Ease of Doing Business Act, in which the government “wishes to establish a unified system for the electronic exchange of information for all port-related transport modes.”

The PPA executive said the system hopes to provide convenience and benefits to port users, get rid of fixers and scalpers, provide online services and attain overall ease of doing business, and improve port processes for maritime safety and security.

Javier noted that some shipping lines already offer online booking, with bus booking component, while others have no available online booking platform yet.

With the current process, passengers, usually carrying heavy luggage, traditionally have to wait in line to book their tickets without assurance of accommodation. Once tickets are booked, they will have to line up again to pay the passenger terminal building (PTB) fees and secure pre-inspection before they can access the PTB and later on board the vessel.

She said OTS hopes to address uncontrolled queuing at the terminals through automatic and advance notices for cancelled or postponed trips, and to provide a seamless payment process for the bus ticket, ship ticket, and PTB fee. It will also allow automatic manifest submission for priority berth assignment, and introduce faster vessel clearance.

Additionally, the online platform “can serve as a better tool for management of vehicle traffic at the ports considering that inter-related information is readily available through the system,” Javier noted.

Further, she said the system “could also be a powerful and useful instrument to ensure safe maritime navigation practices since vessel overloading and overcrowding can be prevented and eventually could resolve complex public problems and complaints.”

The OTS will initially cover processes for bus and vessel booking of passengers taking the bus (bus, vessel, and passenger terminal building fee). It will also cover passengers with motor vehicles (motor vehicle, vessel fare, and PTB fee), and passengers only (vessel fare and PTB fee).

Javier said the OTS promotes a safety culture in shipping and business-friendly arrangements, and could result in savings in administrative cost for shipping companies.

For passengers, the system is seen to make delivery of ship and port services more efficient, provide convenience from booking to vessel boarding, and lead to cost savings.

For the government, Javier said the OTS will have a positive impact on trade and commerce, help government provide better services to citizens, and upgrade the country’s image in terms of ease of doing business.

PPA has also conducted public consultations on the proposed system at 14 port management offices nationwide, and will continue conducting them over the next two months. She said initial feedback from the consultations showed that the system should also address disruptions such as cancelled or suspended trips and delayed departure and arrival. It should likewise “take care of integration of existing online systems of shipping companies.” The system should also consider the passengers’ rights.

Javier said PPA will come up with a policy on the system and present it to the PPA board of directors for approval. From there, it will proceed with the detailed design of the system with the help of a consultant and of shipping companies with existing booking systems.

 

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