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    Cagayan de Oro Port wins APNS Green Port Badge

    The Port of Cagayan de Oro has been recognized as one of the APSN Green Port Award System (GPAS) winners for 2018 among candidate ports from 18 member economies of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).   

    Cagayan de Oro Port Manager Isidro V. Butaslac, Jr. received the Certificate of Recognition, ASPN Green Port Badge, and flag banners from the APEC Port Services Network (APSN) during the annual awarding ceremony held 15 November 2018 in Singapore.    

    The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) Central Office officially endorsed the Port of Cagayan de Oro as its official candidate for GPAS recognition, together with the Port of Batangas, which won the GPAS award last year.    

    “This GPAS recognition gives the Port of Cagayan de Oro a seal of reliability and integrity which will help improve the port’s image locally, nationally, and internally, and open new potential commercial opportunities for the port, PPA, and the port operators through increased ship calls and cargo volumes that directly translate into revenues,” Butaslac noted.    

    The Green Port Award System (GPAS) program is a green evaluation system for ports in the APEC region developed by APEC Port Services Network (APSN) to promote the green growth of the APEC port industry.    

    GPAS started as an evaluation system inspired by Ecoports and Green Marine in North America but evolved differently to be more suitable for ports in the APEC region.    

    APSN conducted two rounds of pilot programs to test the evaluation scheme, created an Implementation Plan and established a Pool of Expert port professional to review GPAS applications before it was officially launched in 2016.    

    GPAS aims to encourage green and sustainable development in port and port related industries. In particular, it aims to provide a platform for sharing of best practices among ports in the APEC region, to raise the profile of ports committed to green practices, and to improve their capacity for sustainable development.    

    Any port, port authorities or port operators implementing green programs to improve the environmental sustainability of their operation in the last two or more years are qualified to apply for GPAS.
    Green Initiatives and Practices    

    Among the CDO Port’s best practices which helped it land the coveted Green Port badge are measures aimed at energy conservation, noise reduction, protection and preservation of the water, land, and air, and promotion of environmental awareness among the stewards of nature—the people.    

    CDO Port replaced its High-Powered Sodium (HPS) Lamps with has 80 units of solar powered LED streetlights and Mast Towers with LED bulbs which resulted to 46% and 40% energy savings, respectively; upgraded cargo handling equipment from old forklifts and stackers to rubber tired gantry (RTG) cranes and rail mounted gantry (RMG) cranes to improve productivity and efficiency, thus minimizing energy and carbon emissions; and adopted smart lighting system in the buildings which automatically provide lighting only when needed.    

    To protect and preserve the water ecosystem, the PMO’s Scuba Diving Team duly certified by the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) regularly conducts underwater garbage collection/cleanup activities, underwater/underdeck surveying activities, flora and fauna inventory, and restoration activities i.e. detached lighted floating navigational buoys at ports. Personnel also actively participate in coastal clean-ups.    

    Furthermore, over 5,000 mangrove propagules were planted within a combined area of 30 hectares at Bonbon, Cagayan de Oro; Pangayawan, Gitagum, and in the PMO adopted area of Taytay in El Salvador, Misamis Oriental to encourage breeding grounds for indigenous fishes.    

    To improve air quality, the Port reduced carbon dioxide emissions and air pollutants by 50% by reducing cargo handling units, using short-based power supply (cold-ironing), and establishing three carbon sinks/greenbelt areas by planting 255 trees of various species now aged 40 years and below, which has enabled it to pass the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) National Ambient Air Quality Standards.    

    PMO also maintains an organic vegetable and flower garden where various vegetables and legumes are cultivated on used car tires and harvested for feeding programs.    

    A Solid Waste Management (SWM) based on the 4Rs(Resource Recovery, Reuse, Recycle) that has help reduce residual waste in the port area by 2%, increase of collection of recycled paper by 12%, plastic containers by 85%, and food waste by 100%.    

    To promote environmental awareness, PMO employees, port stakeholders and residents of the barangays where the Port is located participate in various fora on Climate Change, Solid Waste Management, Clean Air Act of the Philippines, Clean Water Act of the Philippines, among others. They are also actively engaged in tree planting/growing activities coastal clean-up, mangrove planting and gardening.    

    Compliant with environmental laws, PMO MOC submits regularly to DENR Self-Monitoring Reports under the Republic Act No. 9275, Philippine Clean Water Act; Republic Act No. 8749, Philippine Clean Air Act; Republic Act 6969, Hazardous Waste Act.    

    It annually conducts Ambient Air Quality Monitoring, Stationary Source Air Emission Sampling, Emission Testing for PPA and Oroport Cargo Handling Equipment, Water Effluent Quality Monitoring of the port’s oil and water separator facilities, and Ambient Water Monitoring.    

    By means of these measures, the CDO Port has been recognized by Partnerships in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia (PEMSEA) for the Port of Cagayan de Oro’s Port Safety, Health and Environmental Management System (PSHEMS) which covers three standards including ISO 14001:2004 (Environmental Management).
    Opportunities and Challenges   

    As its Mission Statement Networking for Stronger Port Industry and Better Community explicitly states, the APNS aims to promote the development of APEC’s port industry by fostering a more cohesive and cooperative partnership among APEC port and port-related industries; encourage capacity-building and information sharing, enhanced safety, security, efficiency and environmental and social responsibility of ports; and, ensure the interests and views of APEC port industry are duly presented to the competent authorities of the member economies.    

    “By taking responsibility for clean air, land and water, port stakeholders work together to meet more stringent environmental standards and deliver excellent business results,” Butaslac said.    

    Among the ways this can be attained is by doubling efforts to encourage ocean-going vessels/ships to reduce emission of pollutants by using clean fuel and use shore-based power supply; improve performance to sustain a green and eco-friendly port; continued professionalization of operations; increased use of bio-based renewable energy such as LNG and bio-fuels, circular economy and transition energy; initiate more environmental-friendly programs/projects to reduce the port’s carbon footprint, and mitigate the effects of climate change particularly on engineering, e.g. more solar panels, improved water treatment facilities, etc.    

    APEC Port Services Network (APSN) is a non-profit organization started in 2008 in response to the directive of the 14th APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting. It is a premier platform for communication and collaboration among port and port-related industries in the Asia-Pacific region through information sharing, capacity building and technical cooperation, etc.    

    The APSN also creates a unique channel for dialogues between industries and competent authorities on various issues of common interests, by which the views of the industries would be well presented.    

    Currently, APSN has 18 Council members, who are senior representatives of competent authority designated by APEC member economies, and 100-plus Regular members of public administrations, private sectors and individuals from port, shipping, logistics, trade, finance, and other port-related industries.  (with a report from IMR Lam)


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