REVENUE earned by ports nationwide fell 79% in March due to disruptions to the supply chain caused by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak, the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) said.

In a briefing Wednesday, PPA Vice Chairman and General Manager Jay Daniel R. Santiago said revenue

took a hit from the enhanced community quarantine imposed on Luzon in the middle of March.

“Sa buwan ng Marso ng 2019 year on year kung ikokompara sa Marso ng 2020, bumagsak ang revenues ng ating pantalan ng halos 79% (in March port revenue dropped 79% year on year),” he said.

Though port operations were exempt from the quarantine, many cargo owners could not take out their shipments because their own operations were affected by the lockdown, while inbound shipping also declined because factories in China were still not at full production.

According to guidelines of the Inter-Agency task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, cargoes of critical goods are exempt from the quarantine restrictions.

The PPA said the March result brought the agency’s net profit in the first quarter down 25% year on year. — Gillian M. Cortez