By Genevi Facto
MANILA, (PNA) — The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) said vessel berthing will be ‘on a first come-first served basis’ to ensure smooth movement at the North port.
PPA General Manager Juan Sta. Ana said the revised berthing guidelines were agreed upon by the PPA and the Manila North Harbor Port, Inc. (MNHPI) in anticipation of the influx of domestic vessels once the terminal starts full commercial operations.
Starting Sept 24, MNHPI will manage the allocation of berths and shifting of vessels inside the Manila North Harbor and at the inner breakwater.
“As a general rule, the common-user and the ‘first come-first served’ policies in determining the berthing priorities of vessels must be followed,” Sta. Ana said.
This covers vessels calling at North Port from Isla Puting Bato, Piers 2 to 16, Marine Slipway and the anchorage areas of the North Harbor.
The new vessel berthing guidelines embodied under PPA Administrative Order No. 02-2013 is expected to bring more efficiency in the utilization of berths.
PPA remains responsible for berths at the anchorage areas outside of the North Harbor.
The entry and departure clearances of vessels would still have to be secured from PPA.
MNHPI, on the other hand, must ensure that proper clearance from the Authority is secured prior to vessel departure.
Idle vessels are not allowed to use the berths while berthing priorities will be given to vessels in distress or in a state of emergency.
Under this circumstance, such vessel will be allowed to unload perishable goods or livestock without delay, or it will be given priority when public interest is at stake.
MNHPI has extended the berthing facility for the new passenger terminal building by 70 meters enabling the facility to handle five vessels at any given time.
“We need to make this initiative with the North Port set, before it goes into full commercial operations when construction of its new passenger terminal building is completed,” Sta. Ana said.
MNHPI CEO Richard Barclay said the new state- of- the- art passenger terminal is the country’s first.
Located in an 11,600 sqm. area, between Piers 4 and 6, the passenger terminal complex has well wishers’ and greeters area, which is new to Manila North Harbor.
It has a VIP lounge complete with dining and comfort facilities, conference table, clinic, play room for children and non-denomination prayer room.
It also has a concessionaire area, a parking with a total of 60 slots, of which 28 are open for private cars; 6 for shuttle bus and 26 for taxis.
Porters as well as push carts, are on standby at the drop- off area.
A ticketing area is separate from the main terminal building.
The ground floor is for the departing and arriving passengers. A large drop off area is provided to avoid congestion.
Upon entry, passenger has to pass through the x-ray machine with their baggage.
Then, proceed to the ticket scan area before entering the passenger lounge, with 1,875 seat capacity. Clean comfort facilities are available on both sides of the building.
The design of the building takes on a modern feel with the heavy use of glass and aluminum cladding.
Granite is used in the lower exterior walls as an accent and for easy maintenance.
“The passenger lounge and arrival areas are designed with high ceilings and glass windows to make the area look spacious. Mechanical cooling is provided in the entire building via VRV system- an energy efficient system designed to provide cool air depending on room capacity. Pre-insulated roofing panels are used to aid in building insulation,” he said.
The complex designed by RRPayumo Partners Architects will provide passengers with an unforgettable and unparalleled travel experience.
He said passenger comfort is given utmost attention, as they aim to elevate the status of Manila North Harbor as the country’s premium seafaring hub and at par with international standards.
MNHPI expects to handle 1.22 million passengers this year, up from 796,469 passengers in 2012.