While the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID19) pandemic is unfortunately not over yet, new directives and major undertakings are expected to keep the port and maritime community bustling for the entire year, which were discussed by the member agencies of the Port and Maritime Management Advisory Council (PMMAC) and partner offices during the first quarter meeting on 18 March 2021.

The body deliberated the PPA Administrative Order No. 14-2020 that mandates the mangrove/tree planting as a requirement for the issuance of accreditation, certificate of registration, award of contract or renewal/extension thereof and shall require each accredited port service provider to plant at least 1,000 mangrove/tree seedlings. Additional number is required for the cargo handling operator, port terminal operator, passenger terminal building operator, Roll On Roll Off operator, and Harbor Pilot. In a separate memorandum, the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) likewise implements the mandatory mangrove/tree planting for the MARINA Letter Approval, verification of certificate, and issuance of licenses.

A representative from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) was also invited in the meeting to provide further guidance and answer queries relative to the mangrove/tree planting activity.

Moreover, the attendance of personnel and workers of port service providers to the Basic Port Operations Seminar (BPOS) shall be required as a post-approval condition in the issuance of Permit to Operate (PTO). The PPA PMO MO/C already commenced the conduct of virtual BPOS since 15 February 2021.

The Authority also informed the body on the guidelines on the grant of financial assistance for the critically-impacted maritime sector under Republic Act 11494 and the succeeding rules in view of its extension until June 2021.

The Port of Cagayan de Oro will also be abuzz in the succeeding months with the kick-off of the Rehabilitation of Amenity Building Project at the Port Terminal Complex, and other pipelined port infrastructure projects.

MARINA presented the new rules and regulations pertaining to the mandatory use of 0.50% M/M Sulphur limit on fuel oil for all Philippines registered ships in compliance to ANNEX VI of MARPOL 73/78. This will become mandatory among convention ships in the domestic trade by 01 January 2025.

Port and the regional security updates were then tackled in the second part of the joint activity, the Port Security Advisory Council meeting. Reports from the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) and the latest issuances (Port Advisory, Bulletin, Announcements) of the PPA’s Port Police Division were presented in the said meeting.