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Wednesday, March 17, 2021

PPA orders strict enforcement of health, safety protocols in ports, offices vs COVID-19



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Following the directive of Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur P. Tugade to strictly implemented health and safety protocols to curb the spread of COVID-19, Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) General Manager Jay Santiago has directed all personnel, offices and ports under its jurisdiction to maintain the strict enforcement of health and safety protocols.

In a memorandum dated 15 March 2021, GM Santiago ordered all the heads of the Head Office Responsibility Centers and the Port Management Offices to be consistent in their implementation of health and safety protocols within their respective jurisdictions.

“As part of PPA’s continuing efforts to stem the transmission of COVID-19 virus and to protect the health and safety of PPA personnel, port users, and the general public, you are directed to consistently and strictly observe, monitor, and implement in your respective area of responsibility the relevant health and safety protocols contained in PPA issuances, as well guidelines issued by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Department of Health (DOH),” GM Santiago said.









The memorandum was issued after Secretary Tugade and GM Santiago made a surprise inspection at the new cargo port in Boracay, where a number of port users were seen violating health protocols, such as wearing of masks and face shields, and physical distancing.

Secretary Tugade and GM Santiago then directed all PPA personnel to strictly monitor port users for minimum health protocol compliance.

Moreover, according to the PPA directive, the ‘Seven (7) Commandments in Public Transport’ must be continuously observed in all ports and vessels nationwide.

The 'Seven Commandments in Public Transport’ calls for the wearing of face masks and face shields; body temperature checking; proper ventilation of Passenger Terminal Buildings (PTBs) and offices; frequent disinfection of PTBs and PPA offices; frequent handwashing and use of alcohol and sanitizers; barring PPA personnel, passenger, and port users with COVID-19 symptoms from entering the port, PTBs and PPA offices; and the observance of proper social distancing.

The DOTr and its attached agencies, including the PPA, have intensified the enforcement of existing safety and health protocols amid the increase in COVID-19 cases in the country.

Secretary Tugade called on transport personnel to be serious and extra diligent in the implementation of health protocols. He also appealed to the riding public to strictly follow these measures and to report to authorities any breach in the guidelines.

“As operators and drivers of public transport vehicles, you do not only bring passengers from their homes to their workplaces and back. You are also given the responsibility to make sure that they are healthy and safe when they arrive at their destinations,” Sec. Tugade said.

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