THE Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) and the Department of Transportation (DoTr) said Tuesday that they are planning to implement an automated ticketing system at all ports by 2021, to cut out fixers and scalpers while improving maritime security.
An auction for modern ticketing machines has been scheduled “before the end of the year,” the PPA and the DoTr said in a joint statement.
“The Unified Electronic Ticketing System which is equipped with an electronic reservation and ticketing assistant, aims to reduce human-to-human transactions to comply with the ‘new normal’ protocols to stop the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19),” they added.
They said the new ticketing system will also support an integrated vessel booking and payment system for roll-on, roll-off ports.
“Using desktop computers or mobile phones, passengers using the system can reserve, book, and pay for tickets online,” the two agencies said.
Passengers unable to access the online system can also buy tickets using vending machines.
The online booking system will be managed by the PPA.
PPA Administrative Order (AO) No. 12 series of 2019 lists the objectives of the centralized e-ticketing system as “to institute port process improvement for maritime safety and security since this will provide a useful instrument for preventing ship overloading and overcrowding.”
The AO also positions the project as a measure to comply with ease of doing business rules while generating administrative cost savings for shipping lines.
The new system will also provide automatic preparation of passenger manifests for submission to government agencies.
The PPA will provide the system software, office space and hardware to implement the online booking system at the ports under its jurisdiction.
Shipping lines will be responsible for the office space and equipment not provided by the PPA.
The PPA is responsible for the collection of the integrated shipping fare, passenger terminal building fee, and the added administrative fee. — Arjay L. Balinbin