E-ticketing for ship, ferry passengers now in finalization stage; PPA eyes 2023 implementation

The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) is now on the final phase of the review and test of an online platform that would pave the way for the implementation of the electronic ticketing system for ship and ferry passengers.

PPA General Manager Jay Santiago said they are now coordinating with the system developer of the program as he revealed that they are eyeing the implementation within this year, especially before another provincial exodus due to holidays and long weekends.

"We are currently finalizing and customizing the program protocols in cooperation with the system developer and we hope to implement within 2023," Santiago told the Manila Bulletin in an interview.

The e-ticketing system is one of the two full digitization efforts that they want to implement for 2023 aside from the Trusted Operator Program – Container Registry and Monitoring System (TOP-CRMS), which uses technology for up-to-date container tracking allowing customers, carriers, freight forwarders, and shippers to access the status of their cargoes and containers.

The TOP-CRMS is expected to keep a registry and monitor all inbound shipping containers that will track every foreign-owned container’s location and movement using the industry- accepted data interchange formats through encrypted channels.

On the part of e-ticketing system, Santiago said it is the PPA's solution to ease the burden of passengers especially during long school and work breaks.

“The electronic ticketing system is part of our big electronic management system. It aims to assist our kababayan from spending a lot of time in long lines just to purchase a ticket in our ports,” Santiago said.

“What we want to address through this project is the usual long lines that passengers have to endure whenever they go to their hometowns or go on a vacation to take advantage of long breaks. We feel how stressful it is and how tiring it is on the part of the passengers,” he added.

Santiago cited the recent Holiday break for instance wherein thousands of passengers have to spend long hours in ports that resulted in heavy traffic in all the roads leading to the ports, as well as the congestion in the ports’ passenger terminals.

The e-ticketing system will have a platform wherein all the shipping lines would be connected. The portal includes the schedule of all travels such as the expected departure and arrival time from and to the ports, as well as a system that would enable booking and ticket payment.

“Our kababayan can log on to this portal and plan their travel in just one sitting at the comfort of their homes, offices or wherever they are,” said Santiago.

"We hope that the shipping lines will accept the migration to electronic ticketing for the benefit of the riding public. Our kababayans deserve a better travelling experience which is safe, convenient and free from scalpers and fixers," he added.