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PPA eyes centralized mobile booking system for port users

The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) has proposed the creation of a centralized booking system for maritime passenger services, akin to airline mobile booking systems here and abroad, to provide convenience to port users and get rid of fixers and scalpers at terminals.

Lilian T. Javier, who sits as the department manager for port operations and services at the agency, said with a centralized ticketing system passengers will enjoy a seamless sea journey as this removes the need to queue, provides an assured seat on buses and ships, as well as ensures safety at sea.

With the system, a passenger may use his or her mobile application to book for a ticket from Manila to Matnog in advance without the need of buying separate tickets for the bus and the ferry. They may also pay online instead of lining up at passenger terminal building or port premises.

“The online booking system is a real-time system with a single-window concept,” Javier said. “This addresses the disruption—meaning for canceled and suspended trips, and we hope to come up with a policy then proceed with the detailed design development.”

She added that this move toward digital transformation is in compliance with the international directive for the electronic exchange of information on cargo, crew and passengers.

Currently, the government is conducting public consultations with stakeholders.

“For the next two months, we will continue with the consultation, especially for the details of the design for the one-ticketing system,” Javier said.

Jay Daniel R. Santiago, the general manager of the PPA, noted that this will likewise benefit the shipping lines, as they may incur savings in terms of administrative costs. This will also help the government in promoting trade and commerce while bringing necessary services closer to Filipinos.

He added that his group has already developed a proof of concept for the mobile application and web site, and is hoping to finish all necessary legal requirements before the year ends.

“We want to implement this toward the end of the year or by early next year,” Santiago said.
Source: Business Mirror

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