The Philippine Ports Authority, represented by Assistant General Manager for Operations (AGMO), Hector E. Miole, together with Port Manager Isidro V. Butaslac Jr. of the Port Management Office of Misamis Oriental/Cagayan de Oro, was one of the agencies invited for the first-ever Philippine Industrial Summit in Mindanao that ran from 26-28 November 2019, held in Cagayan de Oro City.

With the theme, “Building an Assertive Industrial Philippines,” the Summit aimed to convene members of the private sectors (industry champions, conglomerates, top corporations, among others) and public sectors (government agencies, policymakers, et.cetera.) and those from the academe and media for knowledge-sharing and open discussion for courses of action towards the development of inclusive and globally competitive Philippine Industry. Furthermore, the event seeks to be a venue to foster linkages among local and foreign industries and/or boost private-public sector partnerships.

The archipelagic landscape of the Philippines is seen to affect the spur of economic growth across the nation, and the structure and network configuration of supply chain and logistics efficiencies. In this view, the Philippine ports are regarded to have a significant role in order to facilitate industrial development amidst the geographic dispersion. Hence, AGMO Miole delivered a significant talk on Building Archipelagic Access during the Industry Forum on 27 November. He made emphasis that the role of ports would be, “to connect all significant islands together through an optimum network of intermodal configurations, efficiently bringing commerce and trade to distant island and population centers at the least cost and disruption and as expeditiously and safely as possible.”

AGMO has discussed, among others, the Asian Highway (AH26) route that links the major seaports and cities in the Philippines; Intermodal Transport Corridors & Multimodal Transport Operations in Asia Pacific; the Strong Republic Nautical Highway; Roll-On/Roll-Off System that has reduced transport costs up to 60%; and strengthening of Public-Private Partnerships in Ports.

AGMO Miole, who was also a former Port Manager of the Port of Cagayan de Oro, recalled that the PPA’s Integration Policy, integrating several stevedoring operators into one single company, was first tested in CDO Port. He commended the CDO Port’s cargo handling operator, the Oroport Cargohandling Services, Inc., as one of the most productive and highly efficient terminal operators.

Building archipelagic access would also mean building physical and digital infrastructures for the comfort, convenience, safety, and security of sea-going passengers, such as new and improved Passenger Terminal Buildings (PTB), and the planned implementation of Integrated Ticketing System.

Lastly, he remarked that building archipelagic access will not be simply constructed within an economic context, but requires creativity, time, and commitment to do things differently; and with the participation of the community and government.

Other significant talks in the Forum included: Industrialization in the Country-side; Build, Build, Build Program; Philippine as one energy grid; and Industrialization in the context of the current International Economic Condition. — By IMR Lam