THE Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) said it expects no major trade disruption with the July 1 enforcement of the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code. This, even if some ports have yet to be declared compliant to the code.
In a press briefing, PPA general manager Alfonso Cusi said all 22 ports under PPA’s jurisdiction have fully complied with the required submission of port facility security assessment and security plans. Despite the absence of Statements of Compliance, he said, all 22 ports will still be able to cater to ISPS-compliant international vessels through the Declaration of Security (DOS).Cusi, however, admitted there will be possible delays since the DOS requires documentation.
PPA assistant general manager for Operations Benjamin Cecilio said the DOS ensures a port or a vessel plying international voyages is ISPS compliant despite the absence of a Certificate of Compliance.
“A memorandum of agreement will be signed by the port representative and the ship operator prior to the interface. This will need proper documentation,” he noted.
Under provisions of the ISPS Code, a DOS shall be completed before an interface starts between a vessel and a port facility or another vessel if: they are operating at different maritime security levels; one of them does not have a security plan approved by a contracting government; the interface involves a cruise ship, a vessel carrying certain dangerous cargoes; or the security officer or either of them identifies security concerns about the interface.
Cecilio said the 22 major Philippine ports that cater to foreign vessels are the only ones required to comply with the ISPS Code. These are the Manila International Container Port, PMOs South Harbor, Surigao, Pulupandan, Cagayan de Oro, Legaspi, Puerto Princesa, Nasipit, Limay, San Fernando, Calapan, Ozamis, Dumaguete, General Santos, Cotabato, Batangas, Davao, Iloilo, Tagbilaran, Iligan, Zamboanga and Tacloban.
He said domestic ports have decided to submit as well their security plans considering the measures have been in place even before the ISPS Code was adopted. Earlier, the Office for Transportation Security (OTS) reported that of the 117 ports in the Philippines, the agency has signed 38 Statement of Compliance of Port Facility (SCPF) as of June 29. Still being verified and assessed by OTS teams are 63 ports.
For the 16 remaining ports, their Port Facility Security Assessments (PFSA) and Port Facility Security Plans (PFSP) submitted to the OTS were returned for further review and correction, said OTS head Cecilio Penilla.
Included in the 38 ports which received their SCPF are: Alson Cement, Iligan City; Asian Terminal, Inc.-Mariveles Grain Terminal, Mariveles, Bataan; Batangas Bay Terminal, Inc., Batangas City; Batangas Refinery, San Pascual, Batangas; Cagayan de Oro Oil Co., Inc., Cagayan de Oro City; CALTEX Pandacan Terminal, Jesus St., Pandacan, Manila; Caltex Phils. (Davao City), Davao City; Cebu International Port, Cebu City; CHEMPHIL/LMG Chemicals, Corp., Pinamucan, Batangas City; Del Monte Phils., Inc., Cagayan de Oro City; DOLE Philippines Inc., Calumpang, General Santos City; General Milling Corp., Tabangao, Batangas City; Global Marine Systems Limited, Bauan, Batangas; Harbour Center Port Terminal, Inc., Vitas, Tondo, Manila; Himmel Industries, Inc., Batangas City; Petron Davao Depot, Davao City; Petron Pandacan Terminal, Jesus St., Pandacan, Manila; Petron Refinery-Limay, Limay, Bataan; PNOC, Batangas Coal Terminal, Bauan, Batangas; PPA-Port Management Office Road, Manila; JG Summit Petrochemical Corp., Bgy. Simlong, Batangas City; Nation Petroleum Corporation, Bgy. Castañas, Sariaya, Quezon; and Petron Bawing Depot, General Santos City and Cagayan de Oro.
Meanwhile, Singapore-based International Maritime Organization (IMO) consultant Michael Chen stressed the IMO has no plans of extending the deadline for the ISPS Code implementation. Slightly disappointed with the performance of contracting governments worldwide, he said the enforcement of the ISPS Code will determine “who shall live.”
In answer to a PortCalls emailed query, Chen – the key speaker to a recent PortCalls conference on the ISPS Code – said: “This is an issue for the market to determine. Some ports may close down because shippers avoid port facilities that have yet to achieve ISPS compliance.
Likewise, ships that are not ISPS compliant are likely to have lesser business because shippers will not want their cargoes carried by non-compliant ships, which may result in delays.”