Maritime agencies set protocols to resolve port traffic congestion in Matnog port

Published March 30, 2021, 12:27 PM

by Richa Noriega

Government’s maritime agencies have set protocols on Monday, March 29, to address the reported congestion at the Matnog port in Sorsogon.

In an inter-agency meeting, the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), and the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), reported that the cause of traffic congestion in Matnog port is lack of RORO (Roll-on, Roll-off) vessels to ferry the trucks across San Bernardino Strait to Samar.

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In a statement, the maritime agencies will immediately implement the following to increase the efficiency in Matnog port:

1. The PPA shall implement a maximum of three hours of port stay rule (including maneuvering time). This helps define the average turnaround time of vessels, which is at least eight hours during normal sea and weather conditions.

2. The MARINA shall advise ships to complete three ships calls per day.

3. The PPA will open all ramps. There are seven ramps for regular vessels and one specialized ramp for Fast Cat.

4. The PCG to be the last to board for the conduct of clearance of vessel prior to scheduled departure. This will also help enforce a three-hour maximum stay rule.

The MARINA advised the shipping companies to increase the frequency of their trips to compensate for the shortage of vessels, and replace dry-docked vessels to ensure the stable operations of the route.

To address lack of infrastructure and increase port safety, the PPA has recently opened two additional RORO ramps, to increase the number from the current six to eight ramps.

Meanwhile, the agencies said the port police personnel have been directed to remove unauthorized persons from the port premises.

“With these measures, and the intensified cooperation between the port users, trucking companies, shipping companies, the PPA, PCG, and MARINA, we are confident that congestion along the highway to Port of Matnog will be alleviated, if not finally be resolved,” the maritime agencies added.