ALON Passenger Terminal: Integrated Domestic Passenger Ferry Terminal in North Harbor

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

• North Harbor •


Located along the shoreline of Tondo District is the country’s leading domestic port – North Harbor. It can accommodate all types of inter-island vessels. Its six (6) main piers cater to coastwise cargo and passenger ships.

The facilities are also used extensively for passenger accommodation. North Harbor services the Metro Manila area and the immediate provinces of Bulacan, Pampanga, Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, and Nueva Vizcaya in the north, Rizal in the east and Cavite, Laguna, Batangas and Quezon in the south.

Under the PMO-North Harbor’s jurisdiction are smaller ports. These are sub-ports of Bataan and Subic.

Passenger Terminal Users:

Location User
Pier 2 Negros Nav.
Pier 4 Aboitiz S.C.
Pier 6 Sweet Lines
Pier 10 C. A. Gothong
Pier 12 Sulpicio Lines
Pier 14 William Lines
Pier 16 Escaño Lines


The north breakwater protects North Harbor from wave action. Its length is 2,200 m. A portion at the southernmost part of Isla Puting Bato serves as landing place for small vessels.

aside from this breakwater, Manila Bay itself is a natural harbor providing great security from threats of large waves. The port of Manila thus enjoys protection that can only be provided by nature itself.

Land Access

There are four (4) entrance/exit gates to North Harbor from Radial Road (R-10). This is parallel to Marcos Road, on is at Moriones Street while the other one is at Zaragoza Street, used for passengers and cargo traffic. The other two gates are the Pacheco gate and the Access Road gate.

Currently, these roads are poorly accommodating the necessary access to the North Harbor. Since the North Harbor is currently both a cargo and passenger handling facility, the access roads for people are also used by carrier trucks. The result is chaos. R-10 area is highly congested with container trucks therefore making it very difficult for light vehicles to traverse. Pollution is very high in these areas. The ports' efficiency can be greatly diminished if the access to land transportation is very poor. This issue can be handled in cooperation with the DPWH and DOTC.

Parking Areas

No specific areas are provided for parking of vehicles in the port area. Vehicles entering the North Harbor compound usually park infront of the offices and at Collector Road

Adding to the passengers' woes is the absence of the parking facility.
Especially in the Philippines, where relatives see their loved-ones off, parking areas are most required. This raises the issues of convinience and security. Without a proper parking area, people are forced to park anywhere outside the port area. The condition outside the port is chaotic, men calling out for makeshift parking slots adding to the disorderly vendors. As if the trouble getting at the port through the current state of the access roads isn't enough, finding a proper parking slot seems to be making a name for itself.

• North Harbor Passengerization™ •

The North Harbor of the Port of Manila is currently a domestic Passenger and Cargo handling facility. In my proposal, bearing in mind the future development plans in the Port of Manila especailly the expansion of the North Harbor, a completely Passengerized™ North Harbor will be created, locating the Cargo Handling in an entirely new area, most probably either in the Batangas Port or in the future reclamation specifically for the expansion of North Harbor.

Being exclusive for passenger use only, the North harbor will be giga-safer for people to circulate in, more comfortable without the cargo handling facilities and equipment criss-crossing with people..

the whole of North Harbor will have a new identity: North Harbor: the Domestic Passenger Haven! (a more catchy title will be thought of as the project evolves. if you have an idea, comment on that pls ^_^ thanks ) this will revitalize Manila Bay and Manila City of course, close to or much more than what Gateway Mall did to Araneta Center in Cubao Q.C.

Monday, July 18, 2005

• Basic Problems in North Harbor •

Manila Bay’s North Harbor handles all incoming and outgoing domestic cargo and passenger ferries in Metro Manila. At present, all of the Ramos administration’s efforts seem to have been lost on the North Harbor in terms of infrastructure especially for passengers.

The safety of the traveling mass is being put at risk due to lack of security measures in the harbor. With the present economic condition, these people have no choice but to make do with what is inconveniently available. Inconvenience, threat to safety, these are but a few problems that arises from the absence of one single passenger terminal which will house all the proper facilities and security needed to avoid inconveniences and another tragedy.

With the current condition of the Philippine's second-hand fleet, passenger safety cannot be ensured if right from the loading port, confusion is at large. Lack of organization of passenger and baggage circulation and security due to the absence of a Major Terminal makes the ferry boat vulnerable to overloading and hazardous baggage, much to the passengers' detriment.

immediate problems:

The situation of the ferry passengers in the North Harbor is chaotic. The passengers bear all of the confusion in the system of the passenger ferries’ administration, seeing it as something that is already a part of traveling.

Basically, there is an absence of an integrated passenger ferry terminal in the Manila North Harbor that will contain all passenger-ferry related activities.

• there are several ferry companies that are using the North Harbor as their terminal, WG&A, Aboitizs, Negros Navigation, etc. Each company has its own area where it processes their respective passengers. The problem is that these areas are scattered with minimal signage, therefore making the processing of passengers and baggage very confusing.

• the ferry companies deal with their own passenger when it comes to their tickets and baggage. And with the usually not followed departure and arrival schedules of ferries, the absence of a single passenger terminal leaves the waiting passengers with no comfortable place to stay.

• there is a lack of security, personnel that monitor passenger areas which compromises passenger security and safety.

• inefficient boarding area security due to the absence of a terminal, makes the ferry boats vulnerable to overloading and baggage hazards which compromises passenger safety.

The safety problem is aggravated by the fact that the Philippines’ inter-island fleet is made up of second hand vessels acquired from other countries. With the Philippines’ passenger ferries’ age average of 9.31 years old *(Domestic & foreign Fleet Inventory in 1995 conducted by MARINA). Passenger safety can only be ensured if overloading is prevented and baggage handling is secured.

With respect to operational hazards, two major concerns were pointed out by International Maritime Organization (IMO): the perennial overloading of passengers, especially during peak seasons like Christmas and the start of school year; and the carriage and handling of dangerous baggage or cargoes. To respond to overloading, IMO suggested the building of passenger terminals to control embarkation of passengers in the main ports, particularly in North Harbor. As to handling of baggage or cargoes, an efficient system of inspecting dangerous goods was needed.

• The Philippine Setting •

In the Philippines, being an archipelago and most of its people belonging to the lower half of the economic strata, the most common mode of inter-island transportation is by ship mainly due to its affordability.

Filipino’s travel for different purposes and under different circumstances. Personal travel can be generally classified into three categories namely Pleasure travel, travel to work, and business travel. Among the three, the journey to work is probably the most often reason why Filipinos travel.

Since the Philippines is an archipelago, development in the country tend to be focused only in certain areas, the biggest of which is Metropolitan Manila. Most of the people from the southern region looking for opportunities in Metro Manila travel by ship, the cheapest mode of long-distance inter-island transportation.
People go different places for different purposes but one thing remains intact in the Filipino culture: Closely-knitted Family Ties.

This trait is what keeps the Filipino family together..But it's the transportion industry's role to keep the family together, physically. With the Philippines' archipelagic setting, it must be clear that water transportation is most significant.