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Glance - Sad reality at the Zamboanga City Port

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It will be an exercise in futility trying to write issues, feature and describe the government port of Zamboanga after more than three decades under the management of the Philippine Ports Authority. Seemingly, the Port has grown and improved in terms of size and dimension from the standpoint of its structure.

Its present port manager, a resident of this city is a certified public accountant, an MBA graduate and holder of a CESO eligibility. His major focus is on increasing port revenues not much on the systematic and efficient port operations. Leonilo E. Miole, fondly called NILO, is fortunate to have the distinction as the first PMO Zamboanga City port personnel to have been appointed to the position of port manager.

Some of the port operations senior staffs under the present dispensation are rusty cogs and others are weak and sickly. Of late, two terminal supervisors sixty years old level soon to leave government service upon reaching compulsory retirement age of 65 were appointed to said position in mid – year 2010. Allegedly, the duo, more often than not, refused assignment to other ports outside baseport Zamboanga.

It is indispensable and about time, I suppose, that PPA should start to lure young men and women to fill-up vacant positions to augment the remaining workforce of the late ’ 70’s. So far, more or less, five original personnel including the present port manager hired in 1977 are left.

The passenger terminal shed, PTS for short, where millions of outbound passengers passed through every year paying terminal fees is now managed by an able and enthusiastic PTS supervisor, a female certified public accountant and MBA graduate. The PTS is now clean and orderly except the canteen under the turf of the employees’ union – the PANTALAN. What happen to the X-RAY machines?

A plan is being mulled by PPA top hierarchy to privatize the government port of Zamboanga part of its rationalization scheme with the end in view to reduce the number of work force. At best, a reckless move such that the rationalization scheme will only serve the vanity and pocket of private operators. It will nonetheless reinforce the impression that the port authority is interested on getting the return on its investment not anymore on public service converting the port into a private kingdom disregarding the popular dictum that “public office is a public trust.”

One sad reality inside the port that has surfaced is the extensive coverage of private shuttle service that caused the blockade on the passage way of passengers getting out of the port upon disembarkation from the ship. This includes the “habal-habal” motorcycles sans permit from the city government. Why such situation tolerated?  What are the PPA police personnel doing to address this nagging disturbance? Are they afraid of their shadows to enforce strictly port rules and regulations. The stay and parking position of the vehicle must be properly regulated. Where are the newly-recruited port police? GISING amigos.

By the way, who is this guy allegedly godson of top PPA man running the show of the PPA-hired security personnel and getting a share of the dough from the clienteles.

Hopefully, we see some more good changes inside the port in the year of the rabbit 2011. The rabbit an animal with pair of large ears. Here’s an unsolicited advice from this end, that local PPA hierarchy like the rabbit with large ears listen and be sensitive to hear valid suggestions from its stakeholders like the passengers. PPA, PCG and MARINA should look into the scenario where an exclusive passenger vessel is carrying volume of bulk cargoes from this port. Think of the safety of passengers not the revenues for the office.

Ok, bye folks, have a nice day.




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