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PPA orders strict observance of protocols at ports amid surging COVID cases

  • The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) is directing all personnel, offices, and ports under its jurisdiction to enforce health and safety protocols strictly to curb the coronavirus disease outbreak
  • Health protocol violations were discovered during a surprise inspection at the new cargo port in Boracay
  • In a March 15 memo, all heads of the Head Office Responsibility Centers and the port management offices were ordered to implement consistently health and safety protocols within their respective jurisdictions

The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) is directing all personnel, offices, and ports under its jurisdiction to maintain the strict enforcement of health and safety protocols to help curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The order comes after Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade issued a directive following a recent surprise inspection at the new cargo port in Boracay where port users were found violating protocols on wearing face masks and face shields and observing physical distancing.

In a memorandum dated March 15, 2021, PPA general manager Jay Daniel Santiago ordered all heads of the Head Office Responsibility Centers and the port management offices to implement health and safety protocols consistently within their respective jurisdictions.

“As part of PPA’s continuing efforts to stem the transmission of COVID-19 virus and to protect the health and safety of PPA personnel, port users, and the general public, you are directed to consistently and strictly observe, monitor, and implement in your respective area of responsibility the relevant health and safety protocols contained in PPA issuances, as well guidelines issued by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Department of Health (DOH),” Santiago said.

The Seven Commandments in Public Transport must also be continuously observed in all ports and vessels nationwide.

These are wearing of face masks and face shields; body temperature checking; proper ventilation of passenger terminal buildings (PTBs) and offices; frequent disinfection of PTBs and PPA offices; frequent handwashing and use of alcohol and sanitizers; barring of PPA personnel, passenger, and port users with COVID-19 symptoms from entering the port, PTBs and PPA offices; and observance of proper social distancing.

DOTr and its attached agencies have intensified the enforcement of existing safety and health protocols amid the increase in COVID-19 cases in the country, the agency stated.

Tugade also called on transport personnel to be serious and extra diligent in implementing health protocols, and appealed to the riding public to follow these measures strictly and report to authorities any breach in the guidelines.

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