Emergency exercises conducted by SBMA to ensure port security

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SUBIC BAY FREEPORT — A Port Security Emergency Response Exercise was held recently at the New Container Terminal (NCT) in this port in order to test procedures and contingency plans in cases of security breach.

Simulation exercises are periodically conducted by port stakeholders inside this premier special economic zone to test emergency response capability and plans,

The exercises are also meant to further hone systems and procedures for various emergency scenario within the port.

Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Seaport Department Safety Specialist Diego Aviles said the exercise was spearheaded by the SBMA and implemented with the Subic Bay International Terminal Corporation (SBITC), which operates the container port.

The exercise was observed by the Philippine National Police Maritime Group 3, the Coast Guard Olongapo Substation, as well as representatives from the Leyte Port Facility, SRF Port Facility, SSTI Boton Port Facility, and PPC Boton Port Facility.

The exercise is part of the goal of the SBMA Seaport Department to ensure port security,” Aviles said, pointing out that the program has four objectives that must be met: activate port security advisory committee (PSAC) in the Port of Subic; test the capabilities of emergency responders; test communications and coordination; and check resource availability and response.

The exercise scenario placed a moving craft that was sighted at the waters near the NCT. Whereupon the Subic Port Communications called the attention of the watercraft via radio communication for proper identification, but failed.

As the craft reaches the NCT port, the Port Communications should alert the port facility safety officer (PFSO), including the SBMA Law Enforcement Department,” Aviles said.

Aviles said that participants of the simulation exercise “passed with flying colors,” as all concerned offices put out the appropriate quick response to the security threat.

Early on, the SBMA and various stakeholders in the maritime sector also conducted an Oil Spill Simulation Exercise at the Boton Wharf to strengthen capabilities in emergency response.

Aviles said the exercise successfully tested the capabilities of the Boton port facility, as well as identify concerns and needed resources to sustain the oil spill response operation, activate the Seaport Emergency Response Team, and measure the deployment of the oil spill equipment and response time.

The SBMA Seaport Department said that at least nine shipping lines regularly make ship calls in Subic, which also receives port visits by military ships from time to time. The increasing number of ship-calls due to growing container traffic here calls for top-notch port security procedures and emergency action plans, SBMA officials said.

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