The mere mention of Tondo evokes a feeling of fear in the hearts of many.
The feeling is not without basis. After all, Tondo is notorious for being a haven for lawless elements, for criminal syndicates, street children, squatter shanties.
The image may sound unfair, but that is the perception and that is difficult to change.
Not even Manila North Harbor in Tondo was spared from this perception. Dilapidated structures, grubby facilities, and thugs and pickpockets in every corner of the port prying on travel-weary passengers are common sights in the country’s oldest and busiest domestic port.
But North Harbor is transforming into a modern port that can rival those that can be found in other more developed countries.
Manila North Port, formerly North Harbor, is getting a lot of people excited. First, it now offers a modern, more convenient and safer sea travel. Second, it gives businesses a big boost in product mobility. Third, it provides employment opportunities especially to the people of Tondo. Fourth, it gives the country a better standing in international port operations and expectantly more opportunities for investors.
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Manila North Port is a new and modern passenger terminal located in an 11,600 sq.m. area situated between Piers 4 and 6. It can accommodate more than 3,000 passengers at any given time.
The world-class terminal can handle some two million passengers annually, which is double the current annual capacity of the old port terminal.
It is a fully airconditioned modern passenger terminal equipped with state-of-the-art facilities. Safety of the passengers is ensured with screening and x-ray facilities prior to entry. The entry itself resembles airport entry facilities to make sure all persons and their baggage are checked thoroughly.
CCTV cameras are also installed in all parts of the terminal.
Manila North Port also has convenience in mind. It has a nursing room for mothers with infants, a kids play area, a non-denomination prayer room, a clinic where a full medical team is on a standby for any medical emergency, a changing diaper area, and an isolation room for special passengers.
A VIP Lounge is also provided, complete with dining and comfort facilities.
Several television sets are also in the passenger lounge for entertainment.
ATMs are also nearby for any cash emergency.
The passenger terminal also has heavy duty standby generators to address power interruptions.
Only authorized porters will be handling passenger luggage and other belongings. Once passengers enter the terminal, their baggage will be immediately taken by porters to be deposited at the baggage assistance areas for transfer to the ship.
Pushcarts will also be provided for hand-carried bags.
Parking is also sufficient. There is also a shuttle bus terminal and taxi waiting areas for the convenience of passengers.
All arriving passengers will be provided their own egress area. A baggage claim area is also provided for smooth transfer.
A ticketing area shall be provided separate from the main terminal building. Concession areas have been allotted as well as a well-wishers’ and greeters area – something new to Manila North Harbor.
Overall, the complex is designed to provide passengers with an unforgettable and unparalleled travel experience. Passenger comfort is given utmost attention.
The construction of the Manila North Port Passenger Terminal Complex is one of the major activities in the ongoing modernization program undertaken by the Manila North Harbour Port Inc. (MNHPI) headed by its chairman Dr. Michael Romero.
In a statement made during Manila North Port’s opening last week, Dr. Romero said its opening was “in fulfillment of the mandate set for by the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA). We are proud to have built this brand-new facility of international standards. This is a much-awaited port infrastructure that our countrymen truly deserve. It spells a great difference on the travel experience of Filipinos. We were most inspired to realize for our nation this dream terminal.”
Romero expects the business stakeholders to thrive with the new port because it will boost inter-island and even international cargo vessels.
Aside from the modern passenger terminal, Manila North Port also has quay cranes for loading and unloading intermodal container and container ships.
The opening of the Manila North Port will supplement the construction of the North Luzon Expressway-South Luzon Expressway connector road and the extension of LRT Line 2 from Recto Avenue to North Harbor.
This ensures easy, efficient and faster handling of cargoes in and around Metro Manila and Luzon.
With the country’s busiest domestic port’s passenger terminal now world-class, we can expect the cargo terminals to follow suit.
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