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Zamboanga Port on a Wind of Change

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June 01, 2012 was PPA PMO-Zamboanga’s big birthday. It celebrated its 35th anniversary. At six o’clock early evening of June 01, PPA rank and file employees trooped to the Garden Orchid Hotel Subanen Function Hall for the Jade Anniversary Celebration honoring its imperial gems. A short program was held tendered recognition to PPA employees who served for twenty five and thirty five years, respectively.

The Port District Manager for Southern Mindanao, Atty. Christian “BUTCH” Santillan, an old friend, was the guest of honor. He came over all the way from Davao City on time just to be with the stout-hearted PPA Port of Zamboanga employees led by its enigmatic Port Manager Leonilo E. Miole.
This humble columnist was extended an invitation being a former employee to join the group of retirees. Heartfelt thanks to Port Manager Leonilo E. Miole for remembering me sending the invitation to attend ran important occasion. It was such a delightful and fascinating affair worth remembering to meet old friends and co-retirees to name few, Mr. FLORO SUFICIENCIA and Mr. ERNIE CAÑETE both served as Terminal Port Manager of Malangas respectively. Likewise, met an old pal a retiree Mr. ASPAR BIRAL who was also around exchanged pleasantries akin to the lifestyles of a PPA retiree.

Missed the camaraderie of some old friends who were employed in 1977 by PPA. They are now residing in the United States: Ms. LAVERNA TUMULAK SEBASTIAN, then Administrative Officer and Ms. THELMA E. MATA, Finance Officer and also Mr. Felixberto Maico, the Statistician. Many of the present rank rank and file employees who are still below the fifty years old bracket would be in due time fortunate to feel the joy and ecstasy, God-willing see the Golden Anniversary Celebration of PPA-Zamboanga in 2027 fifteen years from here on.

It is my fervent prayer; hopefully, they are still around in 2027 kicking and alive. Here’s my wish for them: Good Luck, Good Health and God Bless them all. If these 50-years old bracket present PPA employees have a good life plan to stay healthy and strong, am certain they would reach the year 2027.

Seemingly, a wind of change has started to blow over right here at the Port of Zamboanga. Some of the guests I met during the PPA 35th Anniversary affair last Friday night are the new stakeholders, a certain Mr. Simon and Mr. Romero. Both are cargo-handling executives in their own right. The duo in due time will take over the cargo-handling management and operation at the government port in the city.

There’s a plan to include in the operational plan the takeover of the cargo-handling at the Port of Basilan. The government port in the island-province is not on the same frequency with the Port of Zamboanga. It has unique culture and characteristics taking into account the idiosyncrasies and parameter of the port workers and the cargo-handling executives.

It requires tact and sensible approach to the prevailing volatile situation of the port. A sarcastic treatment may bring about conflict and serious setback on the plan of PPA to give the Port of Basilan to private entrepreneurs who may lack the knowledge and understanding or even skills in dealing with the port workers and stakeholders at the waterfront in the city of Isabela, Basilan.

The observation being pointed out is based on the empirical experience having been assigned to the Port of Basilan for nearly two decades so very much familiar with its intricacies and problems in the past.

One aspect PPA hierarchy should bear in mind is the present abnormal peace and order situation in the island-province. A new management and operation by a newly-organized private investors to take over the government port from the present cargo-handlers may result to problem that PPA would face. This reminds me a scenario in 1978 wherein PPA could hardly settled the conflicts. Hopefully, it would not happen again.

SCOOP: How true is the feedback that the 2013 mayoralty race in the infant city of Lamitan would be a thrilla between close kins, a brother against a sister-in-law, or a nephew against aunt-in-law. Or probably, a triangular fight among close friends. ABANGAN NATIN, we’ll know it by October this year, after the filing of certificates of candidacy.

by : Peryasser S. Lahaman




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