MANILA – All ports under the jurisdiction of the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) are operating without congestion or backlog in container traffic so far in December.

In a Laging Handa briefing Thursday, PPA spokesperson Eunice Samonte said yard utilization rate in PPA ports is at 84.98 percent, showing no signs of congestion or backlogs.

"Pero, inaasahan natin na since paparami nang paparami iyong mga darating pa na containers at iyong mga cargoes ay inaasahan natin na magkakaroon siguro ng mga unti-unting delay (But we're expecting container traffic to increase as more arrive and the delivery of their cargo may suffer some slight delay)," Samonte said.

However, she noted that delays may most likely be experienced by cargo traffic from international ports such as Los Angeles and China with domestic ports under the PPA expected to remain congestion-free.

"Dito sa atin, tinitiyak natin na wala tayong mga port congestion (Here at our ports, we can assure that there will be no port congestion)," she said.

To date, she said balikbayan boxes shipped domestically may reach their destination in about a week while those shipped internationally may take one to two months to reach their destination.

"Para iwas abala at para agad na mapadala itong pagmamahal at ang balikbayan boxes ngayong magpa-Pasko ay magpadala nang mas maaga (To avoid hassle and to quickly send their love and balikbayan boxes this Christmas, they should send packages early)," she said.

From January to October this year, she said container traffic has increased by 7.16 percent compared to the same period in 2021, marking a return to pre-pandemic rate of operation at PPA ports.

She also advised port passengers to refrain from paying individuals asking for "insurance" payments at PPA ports, noting that these are scams as the price of passenger tickets includes insurance fees.

"Mayroon na tayong mga kaso na under investigation dahil ito nga iyong mga nabalitaan natin base na rin sa sumbong ng ating mga kababayan (There's already a case under investigation based on complaints from the public)," she said. (PNA)