THE Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) said it estimated port traffic to have declined at between 6% and 10% over the course of the pandemic, though it expects an uptick for the yearend holidays.
In a briefing Tuesday, PPA General Manager Jay Daniel R. Santiago said, “We are still lagging the normal (levels) of previous years… We are about 6 to 10% behind our traffic volume and even our cargo throughput.”
Mr. Santiago added that despite the drop in activity, the PPA remained optimistic because operations did not take a severe hit during the pandemic. Passengers and cargo throughput are expected to increase in the coming weeks.
“It may have decreased slightly but we are also surviving. We expect in the holidays that our passengers and cargo will increase in our ports. We are hoping that our recovery will continue,” he said.
Mr. Santiago said the ports were still operating after they were classified as an essential sector, allowing them to operate even during the strictest phase of the lockdown.
He also reported no layoffs in the industry. — Gillian M. Cortez