MANILA -- The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) on Friday ordered the suspension of cargo truck bookings at the South Harbor following the backlog of trucks in the area, which caused heavy traffic on roads surrounding the Port of Manila.
In a message sent to the media, PPA general manager Jay Daniel Santiago instructed the Asian Terminals, Inc. (ATI), operator of the South Harbor, to suspend all bookings made through the Terminal Appointment Booking System (TABS) to cope with the buildup of cargo trucks in the area.
"PPA has instructed ATI to suspend accepting truck bookings starting immediately until they are able to accommodate those trucks that are already en route to the Manila South Harbor, Santiago said.
The suspension may last until Saturday and all suspended or canceled bookings will be rescheduled, he said.
ATI was also instructed to communicate with the trucking companies to advise them to no longer proceed to Manila South Harbor until new bookings are rescheduled, Santiago said.
In a statement, the ATI said all available spaces in the area had been prepared to ease the gridlock caused by cargo trucks going towards the Port of Manila.
To cope with the truck buildup, we have mobilized all available spaces within the expanded port zone, in coordination with the PPA, to accommodate inbound trucks and ease the traffic buildup, it said.
The South Harbor operator said Typhoon Hanna and the southwest monsoon brought strong winds and heavy downpour, which caused intermittent operational disruption since late Thursday night.
This is a necessary safety precaution, especially during inclement weather. At any given time, the lives and safety of our stakeholders (are) the topmost priority, the ATI said.
Earlier, the Manila City Hall released a statement asking motorists in this city to avoid Roxas Boulevard, R10 and other roads going to the South Harbor due to heavy traffic in the area which could last until the evening.
The Manila Traffic and Parking Bureau, City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, and other enforcers had been dispatched to work with the PPA and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority in easing the traffic situation in the affected areas. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency