Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) General Manager Jay Santiago urged shipping line owners to provide free food and water to their respective passengers who were stranded due to delay in the arrival of ferries and due to bad weather conditions in some parts of the country.
During his visit to the Port of Batangas, Santiago said he saw hundreds of people in long queues inside the port while a number of private vehicles and cargoes were also lining up outside the port.
"We ask shipping line owners to provide food and water to their passengers to at least make them comfortable while they are waiting for their turn to board their ships," said Santiago.
He said he expects the same scenario in other ports across the country amid the Christmas rush of the people to go to their respective hometowns.
The number of passengers in all 25 ports under PPA across the country has already reached an average of 50,400 since Dec. 18.
At the Port of Batangas, almost 19,000 passengers were reported on Friday, Dec. 23.
Santiago also urged the Philippine Coast Guard and the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) to closely monitor the activities in all ports in order to provide more passenger vehicles that would cater to the stranded passengers.
Some sea travels in some parts of the country, on the other hand, were suspended due to bad weather conditions.
Santiago said this is the part when the shipping line owners should take care of their passengers stranded in various ports.