ATI ports are business as usual amid Covid-19 quarantine

March 18, 2020

Listed port operator Asian Terminals Inc. (ATI) said that its facilities in Manila, Batangas and Laguna are business as usual to ensure the unimpeded flow of goodsin the supply-chain, especially at this time of heightened national emergency.

ATI made this assurance in support of government’s directive to keep essential facilities, including seaports which serve as trade gateways, up and running amid the Covid-19 enhanced community quarantine covering the entire island of Luzon.

As early as end-February, ATI has already taken extra measures to ensure the operational readiness of Manila South Harbor, Batangas Port and its off-dock facilities in Laguna, following the company’s stringent health and safety protocols, its established Business Continuity Plan and the guidelines set by authorities.

These procedures include thermal scanning prior to entry into gates and offices, issuance of complete personnel protective equipment, regular sanitation of facilities, social distancing and flexible work arrangements for office-based employees.

To support its operations, ATI is deploying Point-to-Point shuttles with key pick-upand drop-off points north and south of Manila and in Laguna to ensure the seamless transit of essential personnel to and from its facilities, given the disruption on public transportation.

ATI has coordinated with local government units, port authorities and law enforcement to facilitate the passage of the said vehicles and personnel, subject to usual verification and checkpoint screenings.

Key offices of the Bureau of Customs and the Philippine Ports Authority related to the release and processing of cargoes in both Manila and Batangas Ports are likewise functional with skeletal workforce complements.

Meanwhile, in related developments, the Philippine Ports Authority issued Memorandum Circular 10-2020 on Tuesday to facilitate the faster pullout and delivery of containers at the ports and off-dock facilities, effectively suspending the need to secure a Cargo Entry Withdrawal Permit (CEWP) as a prior condition for cargo and truck movement.

Under PPA CM 10-2020, trucks carrying cargoes shall be allowed continuous access to and from the ports of Luzon without the need to secure the CEWP. Withdrawal and repositioning of empty containers shall also be allowed, ensuring their continuous access to and from the ports and inland container yards or depots, as part ofthe usual container logistics cycle.

In a press briefing by the Interagency Task Forceon Emerging Infectious Diseases early Wednesday morning, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles underscored that cargo flow will remain unhampered, reminding law enforcersto address road bottlenecks along checkpoints and establish dedicated truck lanes along major highways, to ensure the safe and efficient flow of goods toand from Metro Manila.