By Mike Baños
“Only when I saw the Earth from space, in all its ineffable beauty and fragility, did I realize that humankind’s most urgent task is to cherish and preserve it for future generations.” Sigmund Jahn (German cosmonaut and pilot)
The Misamis Oriental-Cagayan de Oro Port Management Office of the Philippine Ports Authority continues to win huzzahs for its green culture.
Barely a month after being one of only two ports in the Philippines to ever win the Green Ports Badge of the APEC Port Services Network – Green Port Award System (GPAS) in Singapore, the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP) cited the PMO-MOC as a Best Practice for its environmental protection and conservation during the 2018 Government Best Practice Recognition (GBPR).
The PPA Head Office endorsed the PMO MOC’s entry dubbed, “Philippine Ports Authority—Port Management Office of Misamis Oriental/Cagayan de Oro (PMO MOC): Fostering a Green Culture for Port Operations and Management,” highlighted its initiatives for environmental protection, conservation, and sustainability through the employment of technology; issuance and compliance with environmental policies and mandates; and inculcating environmental awareness among port stakeholders.
The entry successfully qualified for the final round of screening and was presented by Port Manager, Isidro V. Butaslac, Jr., together with Environmental Specialist/Pollution Control Officer Core D. Suan, at Richmonde Hotel, Ortigas Center, Pasig City on 18 December 2018.
It was hailed as one of the top five (5) best practices among the 11 entries from various government agencies for 2018. The five (5) winners will receive Best Practice trophies during the awarding ceremony in the first quarter of 2019.
Besides the PPA MisOr-CDO PMO, the other four winners cited included the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines; Philippine Health Insurance Corporation – Palawan· Local Health Insurance Office; Philippine Science High School - Central Luzon· Campus; and the Provincial Government of South Cotabato.
The DAP is a government owned and controlled corporation mandated to develop solutions to address development problems; upgrade institutional capacities of public and private institutions to more effectively pursue their respective roles and mandates in development more efficiently and effectively; and promote partnerships and facilitate the integration of policies, plans, programs, and systems towards a holistic perspective.
GBPR is one of DAP’s strategies to help public sector organizations further enhance their quality of service. Through GBPR, DAP recognizes agencies that have successful and validated practices.
The Academy believes that “best practices are the building blocks and the solution formula in the attainment of organizational outcomes—relevant policies, quality services and organizational effectiveness.”
Overview of PMO-MOC
PMO MOC administrative jurisdiction covers the provinces of Misamis Oriental and Camiguin with 7 government and 13 registered private ports (bannered by the Port of Cagayan de Oro , one of 10 gateway ports under PPA port system).
It facilitates the transport of passengers and the input of raw materials and export of the region’s products through various handling modes (bulk, break bulk and RORO). It also provides ancillary services such as pilotage, tug assistance, bunkering, trucking, and porterage; supply of fresh water, and passenger related services.
At present, it has 73 Permanent employees, 70 Technical and Admin Support Personnel and 39 General and Janitorial Services Personnel who are outsourced.
Overview of the Best Practice
PMO-MOC’s Green Culture is described as “inculcating environmental consciousness and sensitivity among stakeholders to achieve synergy with the environment towards sustainable development.” Besides iintegrating environmental protection and infusing green initiatives / sustainability measures in port management and day-to-day operations, it also aims to embed environmental consciousness among port employees and port stakeholders
More specifically, fostering the Green Culture in Port Operations through technology involved Energy Conservation, the Reduction of Carbon Emissions and noise reduction.
Energy conservation was highlighted by the replacement of High-Powered Sodium (HPS) Lamps for streetlights and Mast Towers with 80 units of solar panel lights and LED bulbs; adoption of smart lighting (motion detector) system in the buildings that automatically provides lighting only when needed; use of energy efficient office appliance/equipment such inverter-type and HVAC aircons; and, regulating the operating hours of office lighting/equipment/air-conditioning units and maintaining an office temperature at 24 degrees Celsius to cut on power demands.
Reduction of Carbon Emission in Port operations, specifically cargo handling was attained by retiring/re-fleeting and upgrading old forklifts and stackers with rubber tired gantry (RTG) cranes and rail mounted gantry (RMG) cranes to improve productivity and efficiency; reducing energy requirements, carbon emissions and reliance on fossil fuel; installation of six units of shore based power supply (cold-ironing) in the dock facility as charging stations for docking vessels (so vessels would not have to use their own engine while at dock), reducing air pollutants and carbon dioxide emissions.
Not the least, noise reduction during port construction was made possible through the use of hydraulic static pile hammers instead of diesel hammers which are a source of both noise and air pollution.
The ‘soft’ or human aspect of promoting the port’s green culture, was attained through policies and mandates such as an Integrated Management System including ISO 9001:2018 (Quality Management), ISO 14001:2015 (Environmental Management) and BS OHSAS 18001:2001 (Occupational Health & Safety) focused on Port Environmental Policy, Regulatory Compliance Monitoring and Emergency Preparedness and Response.
“This is in compliance with the PPA Environmental Policy which states that the PPA as a government agency is tasked to administer the ports in the country including the development of the ports to spur regional and national growth, adhere to the concept of ensuring that port activities are focused on minimizing the adverse or negative impact to the environment and ensuring that all aspects of port operation and port development are geared towards the protection and preservation of the environment for the maximum utilization of port facilities,” noted Butaslac.
“In this regard, our compliance to regulatory requirements covers our regular submission of self-monitoring reports under the Republic Act No. 9275-Philippine Clean Water Act, Republic Act No. 8749-Philippine Clean Air Act and Republic Act 6969-Hazardous Waste Act to DENR. It annually conducts Ambient Air Quality Monitoring, Stationary Source Air Emission Sampling, Emission Testing for PPA service vehicles and Oroport Cargo Handling Equipment, Water Effluent Quality Monitoring of the port’s oil and water separator facilities, and Water Quality Monitoring for port coastal water,” he added.
Equally important, to foster the Green Culture in Port Management by inculcating values and community engagement, PMO-MOC engaged in various activities including mangrove planting, tree planting/growing, port and coastal clean-up, organic gardening, adoption of 4Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Resource Recovery) and environmental awareness trainings and forums.
Since 2009, PMO-MOC has rigorously pursued its nature conservation program, together with residents and LGU representatives, with a total of 6,000 mangrove propagules planted within the total areas of 30 hectares located at Bonbon, Cagayan de Oro; Pangayawan, Gitagum; and El Salvador, Misamis Oriental. Also, a total of 1,000 trees of various species have been planted at Port Area in Macabalan, Barangay Bonbon and Mapawa Nature Park in Cagayan de Oro, for the years 2009-2018.
Furthermore, it has organized continuing education aimed at enhancing environmental awareness through seminars / trainings, information campaigns and site visits. PMO MOC’s Environmental Specialist is also a DENR-accredited Pollution Control Officer who oversees and is responsible for ensuring compliance with environmental laws.
PMO MOC has actively encouraged stakeholders’ participation in various environmental awareness forums on Climate Change, Solid Waste Management, environmental laws, environmental education extension program, among others. They are also actively engaged in tree planting activities, coastal and port clean-ups, mangrove planting and maintenance of plant nursery for seedling propagation and vegetable gardening.
The Green Culture Innovation
“Fostering a ‘Green Culture’ is a manifestation that the ports’ business and operations can be sustained without compromising the environment. By stressing the importance to the environment, the ports, particularly the Port of Cagayan de Oro, has progressively transformed itself and is continually unfolding to becoming an eco-port that provides comfort, convenience, connectivity, productivity, safety and security to the public,” Butaslac said.
“In PMO MOC, advancement is a by-product of the synergy among the nature’s gifts, green operations, and people’s participation.”
A Green Track Record
Besides the Green Port Award 2018 given by APEC Port Services Network – Green Port Award System, PMO-MOC has also been certified by TUV Rheinland Philippines for its Integrated Management System (2018) and Quality Management System (2012 & 2015).
It has been granted a Certificate of Recognition by the Partnerships in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia (PEMSEA) for the Port Safety, Health and Environmental Management System (PSHEMS) (2015); Certificate of Recognition by the Government Quality Management Committee for compliance to EO 605 (2017); International Ships and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code Certificate of Compliance from DOTr-Office of Transport Security (2018) and was recognized by the DENR for implementation of Environmental Programs (2018) and Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation its continuing partnership in environmental program and joint oil spill response (2018).
Sustaining the Green Culture
To sustain its Green Culture, PMO-MOC will fully implement its green programs with continuous improvement among of which are earth balling, the addition of stations for Shore-Based Power Supply; additional Powerhouse with energy-saving devices/features; rainwater collection and water treatment systems, and green buildings.
“Plans and budget for green initiatives for furtherance of the fosterage of green culture have already been pipelined. With this, PMO MOC looks forward to future green projects,” Butaslac noted.
“Fostering a Green Culture drives the PMO-MOC to gear for more eco-friendly initiatives, bearing the ethos that ports can still do business by being friendly to Mother Nature and not the port to be hazardous for anyone. Fosterage of green culture has come a long way and there’s no more turning back, only moving forward.” (with a report from Irish Maika R. Lam)