Member agencies of the Port & Maritime Management Advisory Council (PMMAC) together with the active participation of partner agencies, discussed more collaboration and cooperation efforts amid the deadly Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and towards future development projects to ease the worsening traffic woe in Cagayan de Oro City during the 1st Quarter Meeting on 20 February 2020 at the PPA PMO MO/C Gad Hall.
As confirmed cases of COVID-19 continue to rise, the port and maritime community remain steadfast on the implementation of preventive measures and health protocols to help prevent the said highly contagious disease from entering through ports.
During the meeting, the Department of Health (DOH)-10 reminded the stakeholders particularly the shipping lines and pilotage service providers that no boarding shall be made prior to the clearance from the BoQ Boarding Team. Further, there must be Maritime Declaration of Health, crew list and passenger list (information on sick crew/passengers, information on crew/passengers travel history i.e. if they have been to China within the previous 14 days minimum) and other related documents before vessel arrival. DOH’s onboard inspection is being conducted to every vessel that docks in the Port of Cagayan de Oro. The Bureau of Quarantine (BoQ)/DOH asked for the continuing support and cooperation of everyone in the implementation of health protocols. Additionally, shipping lines were requested to provide hand sanitizers and alcohol in their respective ticketing outlets.
Representative from the City LGU informed the body that the LGU of Cagayan de Oro has created a Task Force headed by Mayor Oscar S. Moreno and co-chaired by DOH, and has directed the creation of barangay-level response team, both for the implementation of preventive measures against the virus and other related functions including the dissemination of information, education, and communication (IEC) materials. The City LGU committed to helping the Port in the promotion and widest dissemination of Port’s measures and protocols for the information and guidance of the public.
Furthermore, the Provincial Health Office-Misamis Oriental pledged to turn-over three (3) thermo guns and three (3) forehead thermometers to the Port Management Office of Misamis Oriental-Cagayan de Oro, while the City Health Office of Cagayan de Oro committed to providing infrared scanner for CDO Port. The latter requested that one (1) thermo gun and one (1) forehead thermometer will be used for the Port of Balingoan, Misamis Oriental.
The Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA)-10 has also implemented Monitoring Report for onboard vessels, to ensure that vessels are compliant to the preventive measures against COVID-19 such as the provision of face masks, hand sanitizers and alcohol, and thermo gun for all onboard, among others. Although thermo guns are available in the port for embarking passengers, MARINA-10 Regional Director Felisa N. Orongan said that the same must also be provided onboard vessels since it is possible that body temperature may rise beyond the normal limit while on the voyage. MARINA will continue to conduct inspection until all vessels are compliant to the adoption of necessary measures.
Moreover, the body reviewed the No Smoking Policy of the Port. The Port’s cargo handling operator, the Oroport Cargohandling Services Inc. apprised the body that they will be adopting their own penalty/administrative sanctions for their employees who will be caught violating the said policy.
MARINA presented to the body the Coastal and Inland Waterways Transport System, a proposed public water transport to help address the worsening traffic woe in Cagayan de Oro City which will utilize the Cagayan de Oro River. As a developing proposal, a thorough consultation among stakeholders and technical experts is yet to be undertaken. The City LGU requested to be included in the meeting with MARINA on this proposal to connect the said proposed project with other development projects of the City Government for the CDO River and the river basin.
On the other hand, the PMO presented the ongoing and future projects of the CDO Port particularly the soon opening of Gate 6; re-opening of Gate 5; and the road realignment by DPWH that will traverse CDO Port. Gate 6 will cater cargo trucks coming from the eastern part of the Region, thereby help in decongesting traffic on City roads.
The DPWH’s realignment project is likewise aimed at decongesting traffic on City roads by providing access road for cargo trucks from the western part of the region directly towards the CDO Port. This major undertaking is also yet to undergo a series of consultation among stakeholders or affected communities and partner agencies.
The body also discussed the New Prescribed Waste Reception Fee and Centralized Ticketing System per PPA A.O 12-2019. — by IMR Lam