Site Loader

Maritime Transportation and Trade is an indispensable aspect of the economic structure of the Philippines that can be dated back in the Pre-colonial era of the Philippines. Embarking on galleon trade to officially distribute products of Philippine labor became a means  into entering globalization of international trade, with which the Philippines has earned its spot on the list of maritime countries while Filipino seafarers and seamen are mutually reputed and distinguished in manning ocean-going vessels and such industry. This is primarily due to the fact that the Philippines has a territorial identity which is predominantly  archipelagic, consisting of 7,641 islands with estimates of the total length of the coastline range from 17,500 kilometers (official Philippine figure) to 36,289 kilometers (U.S. figure). Ports are infrastructures designed to support the vast range of maritime activities in the interregional and international scope. Established as gateways in towns, provinces and countries, the contribution of seaports in the maritime sector and in the socio-economic development brought an expanse of opportunities and influence both on the offshore and inland. According to Stopford (2009) a port is “a geographical area where ships are brought alongside land to load and discharge cargo—usually a sheltered deep water area such as a bay or river mouth.” Often ports comprise multiple terminals, a terminal being “a section of the port consisting of one or more berths devoted to a particular type of cargo handling” (Stopford 2009, p. 81). Ports are sites for labor-intensive and vigorous activities which is due to its transshipment of a vast bulks of exports, participation in the supply chain, center for logistics, storage facilities  and in other instances, is integrated with passenger terminals and leisure cruise ports and marinas. Today, ports are perceived as a defining factor for economic competitiveness and stability which earns a country a staunch position in the global arena. The Philippines currently consist of 821 commercial ports. Situated in the Philippine’s capital city, The Port of Manila is the largest seaport and international shipping entryway. While ports in Cebu and Iloilo on Panay Island take the lead in terms of passenger numbers utilizing the port terminals. The Manila International Container Terminal (MICT) is a well-established container terminal handling approximately one million twenty-foot equivalent unit TEU annually.  According to Louella Desiderio (2017), latest data showed total cargo volume handled by the ports as of end-May rose nine percent to 103.56 million metric tons (MT)  this year compared to 94.69 million MT handled in the same period last year. Louella Desiderio (2017) added that Container traffic also climbed 14 percent to 2.91 million TEUs in the January to May period from last year’s 2.56 million TEUs. Such logistics industry could soar as high as 16 percent in 2020 from its growth rate in 2013, given that the current logistics performance index (LPI) would be given ample priority by the government. It is inarguable how the palpable and resounding economic boost continues to uplift the Philippine’s status in the context of logistics and infrastructure industries. Total passengers embarking and disembarking at Philippine ports summed up to 53.792 million wherein domestic passengers totaled 53.708 million, up 8.31% while foreign passengers totting up to 83,283 or a 22.36% hike from the 68,062 total foreign passengers as of end October 2015. (Philippine Ports Authority PPA, n.d.). The burgeoning influx of goods, services and passengers coherently demands for reinvigoration and revamp of the ports, which should be given ample attention, be properly addressed and implemented to prevent adverse repercussions and recessions in the current economic-activity caliber. In 2014, the congestion at the Port of Manila direly demonstrated the expanse of damage brought about by poor planning with rigorous analysis, and inadequate coordination with policies and stakeholders. According to the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), two parameters are used to measure port congestion: The utilization level of the terminal, which is expressed as a percentage of the terminal’s available space occupied by shipping containers, and the flow rate of containers into and out of the terminal. The port congestion is one of the major factors impeding the inpouring services and goods though ports, abruptly cascading and obstructing the demand-supply chain hampering the economic growth and performance of a country. As a result, preventing the resurgence of such circumstance has sparked debates among authorities and stakeholders ,wherein alternative ports, expansion of major ports, limiting the intake of ports, business and development hub relocation, optimization of truck routes were proposed to constitute a long-term solution. Decentralization of Metro Manila, including the ports along its harbors would benefit the regional growth and expansion. Although the Batangas Port would spearhead the implementation of such and would be the first in line the possibility of succeeding stimulations, improvements and revitalizations of ports in other parts of the Philippines isn’t such a futile idea. In response to this, Sual, a 1st class municipality in Pangasinan opened its gates to the logistics industry and prompted a construction of an international seaport in two phases: I. Construction of 180-meter wharf and causeway, II. Dredging Baqoien Bay for large ocean vessels to berth. According to the Official website of Pangasinan, the natural harbor of Sual offers a safe anchorage and shelter to ships from the open sea because it is snugly sitting in a cove and its depth could accommodate big vessels to dock.  It was an open port of entry during the more than two centuries of the galleon trade. In order to be aligned with the premiere ports in the Philippines and to significantly contribute in the logistics industry, Sual International Port in Pangasinan should undergo a holistic improvement in terms of infrastructures, utilities, manpower and operational facilities. An integration of a passenger terminal is envisioned to further open the gates of north for transportation of not only goods but also for the service of people, cruise ships and leisure marinas. The emphasis on mobility and advent of possibilities for employment, economic growth and flagship locations for the municipality could grow exponentially. The researcher aims to actualize these visions by providing copious space for the storage of cargo, administrative offices and dwellings for the  employees/workers, passenger terminal integrated with accommodation facilities and marina. 

Post Author: admin

x

Hi!
I'm Erica!

Would you like to get a custom essay? How about receiving a customized one?

Check it out