Over 500,000 passengers flock to seaports

Over 500,000 passengers flock to seaports as Holy Week rush stars

/ 05:29 PM March 25, 2024

Photo: Passengers await their ships at the Manila North Port Passenger Terminal on March 25, 2024. Photo from the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA).

Passengers at the Manila North Port Passenger Terminal on March 25, 2024. (Photo from the Philippine Ports Authority)

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) on Monday reported that over half a million passengers swarmed the country’s seaports at the onset of the Holy Week travel rush.

Data provided by the PPA to Inquirer.net showed that from March 22 to 24, 517,135 travelers passed through seaports across the country.


On March 22, ports recorded 159,578 passengers, which increased to 174,610 on March 23.


March 24, Palm Sunday, saw a further rise to 182,974 passengers.

lenten season seaport passengers

During a press conference following a surprise inspection at the North Port Passenger Terminal, PPA General Manager Jay Santiago said that given the current volume of foot traffic at seaports, the initial estimate of sea passengers for this year’s Holy Week may be exceeded.

“Originally, we were forecasting around 2.1 million [passengers] for Lenten Season, but at the rate we’re going, we might breach that two million passenger traffic,” Santiago said.


At the same press conference, the PPA official explained that one of the challenges that sea travelers face at PPA’s ports is the lack of online ticketing systems.

“Primarily, the main problem we see is with ticketing. Because we don’t have an electronic or online system for ticketing for shipping lines. Our fellow citizens have no assurance that they will be able to get tickets,” Santiago told reporters.


“But it’s good that we have improved our ports, so after that initial challenge, they will be comfortable in our terminals”, he added.

In a separate statement, Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista appealed to port operators and shipping lines not to overcharge passengers.

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“We are appealing to the operators, the shipping companies, not to charge high fares to our passengers. The fare for our passengers should be affordable,” Bautista, who has inspected Manila North Harbor port, said on Monday.

Previously, PPA advised passengers to book their tickets early and avoid last-minute bookings, “which contribute to travel inconveniences and delays, especially during peak seasons.”

TAGS: Holy Week, Seaports

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