MANILA – The Philippine Ports Authority in Batangas expects the number of passengers passing through the port to exceed last year’s figures by over 100 percent.
According to Joselito Sinocruz, Batangas Port Manager, 80,000 passengers were recorded throughout the entire Holy Week break in 2022. They expect numbers to reach 200,000 this year.
"Mula pa noong Sabado, naramdaman na yung unti-unting pag dami lalo na yung biyaheng Visayas Region and Romblon. Siguro dahil malayo ang biyahe inagahan na para sulit ang biyahe. Kaninang umaga, dumami ulit,” he said.
Sinocruz also said that another reason for higher numbers is the additional holiday on April 10 as declared by Malacañang.
This is why he is appealing to shipping companies to employ ambulant tellers to facilitate and hasten ticket purchases made by passengers, especially since there are no advanced bookings in Batangas.
"Pag Sabado, Linggo, doon nakatambak sa ticketing area. Ang luwag-luwag dito. So hindi naman tayo nagkulang diyan. Nakikiusap na tayo sa kanila na maglagay ng ambulant teller. Kung mayroon silang magandang sistema para sa online, use it. Kung mas lalo lang makakagaulo katulad nung minsan nga may nag-online, pag pasok sa loob overload sila, naiwan yung mga pasahero, naiwan," Sinocruz said.
PPA General Manager Attorney Jay Santiago is also seeking an explanation as to why this is happening.
"Ipinagbigay-alam na po namin 'yung ganyang sitwasyon sa MARINA at tinatanong din po namin 'yung mga shipping lines kung bakit biglang first come, first serve po ang naging polisiya nila at hindi po pwede 'yung mga bibili ka ng ticket ahead of time,” he said in an interview on TeleRadyo.
He adds that all other ports accept advanced booking.
To make traveling easier, the port management also advised the public to travel light and only bring the essentials to reduce the possibility of losing belongings.
Port personnel are on full manning compliment with the Philippine National Police and Philippine Coast Guard also roving the different areas of the port and terminal to ensure safe and peaceful travel.