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Cargoes pick up amid peso, mining woes

/ 05:25 AM July 15, 2017

The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) said it was optimistic about cargo volume this year after posting “favorable and encouraging” results in the first five months of 2017.

PPA General Manager Jay Daniel R. Santiago said in a statement the performance of the import industry and the strong domestic market “somehow shielded the agency from the effects of the deteriorating foreign exchange rate as well as the reduced mining industry operations.”

Latest PPA data showed that total cargo volume as of end May grew by 9.36 percent or 103.556 million metric tons (mmt) from the same period in 2016.

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It said container traffic during the period hit 2.9 million TEUs [twenty foot equivalent units], up 13.71 percent. Foreign container volume contributed the most, growing 12.73 percent (195,056 TEUs); while domestic containers recorded a growth of 15.17 percent (156,056 TEUs).

“The continued robust port operations is mainly attributed to the sustained robust economic activity in our ports amplified by strong domestic consumption and generally positive business atmosphere,” Santiago said.

“The efficient movement of cargoes coming in and out of the port area since the implementation of the Terminal Appointment Booking System and other decongestion measures are key factors…,” he added.

As a result, targets for 2017 would be “revisited,” he said.

The PPA also said passenger traffic sustained its upward performance, growing 2.6 percent (832,311 passengers) as of the end of May.

“The enhanced passenger volume was steered by the amplified volume of travelers during the observance of the Holy Week in addition to the continuous reliance of the sea-traveling public on Ro-Ro vessels, fast crafts and motorized bancas,” the PPA said.

Ship calls slid lower by 0.58 percent (1,064 ship calls) with domestic vessels recording most of the decline mostly due to the impact of typhoons. —MIGUEL R. CAMUS

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