Port operator Asian Terminals Inc. (ATI) is making its passenger terminal building (PTB) and adjacent berthing facilities at Pier 15 in Manila South Harbor available as additional temporary quarantine areas in response to the Philippine government’s call for interim healthcare facilities amid the national health crisis.
The 2,000-seat capacity PTB will be converted into a temporary holding facility, while Pier 15’s two southside berths will accommodate the floating hospital vessels being deployed by the Department of Transportation (DOTr).
Leading the terminal’s conversion are the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), and Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) acting as members of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.
ATI noted that Pier 15’s southside berths are strategically located near PCG’s national headquarters. The port operator has guaranteed the area’s strict isolation, tight area security, and regular disinfection to ensure the temporary quarantine facility will be totally secluded from the general stevedoring operations at Pier 15. The northside berths of Pier 15 will continue operating as usual, handling international non-containerized cargoes, the port operator said.
ATI units originally located at the cruise terminal, such as those for general stevedoring, billing and collections and the medical office, will be transferred to the South Harbor Operations Center to ensure seamless operations.
Meanwhile, the Operations Division of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) Port of Manila, which has been holding office at the cruise terminal after a fire hit the bureau in February 2019, is moving to BOC’s headquarters to make sure of unhampered processing and expeditious release of shipments.
During this Holy Week and all throughout the enhanced community quarantine period, ATI said, Manila South Harbor remains business as usual, serving as gateway for containerized and non-containerized cargoes and keeping vital goods and economic commodities flowing in the supply chain 24/7.
Consignees are encouraged to pull out their cargoes immediately to ensure healthy and sustainable port operations, ATI said.
Photo courtesy of ATI