The Mindanao Container Terminal (MCT) is welcoming the new year with hope and optimism. As the world starts to recover from the pandemic, the Company is grateful for the continued support of its employees, partners, clients, and service providers.
When news of the pandemic first broke, MCT sprang into action and secured the welfare of its employees and their families. The Company implemented health and safety protocols in compliance with the health standards set by the World Health Organization and the Philippine Department of Health. As a cargo handling service provider, MCT needed to continue its operations to ensure supplies and basic commodities reach communities.
Taking care of our people
As a gesture of appreciation and support, MCT provided grocery packs to 169 employees and 28 security personnel assigned to the terminal for five straight weeks. The same beneficiaries were also given face masks and face shields, and vitamin C supplements were distributed to all employees of the terminal to help boost their immune systems.
MCT also extended food assistance to frontline workers assigned at checkpoints in the nearby municipalities. The team distributed snacks to checkpoints from Bugo up to Punta Gorda, a municipality in Balingasag which is home to several MCT employees.
Supporting the Philippine Department of Education’s annual Brigada Eskwela and Oplan Balik Eskwela, MCT and the ICTSI Foundation donated personal protective equipment to Gracia Elementary School in Barangay Sugbongcogon, Misamis Oriental. Reusable masks, alcohol disinfectants, and a handheld thermal scanner were donated to the school to help prevent the transmission of COVID during the distribution of worksheets and modules for distance learning in October.
MCT and the Foundation also supported the Department of Education’s Basic Education Continuity Plan with a donation of three Risograph machines, 22 printers, and 90 reams of bond paper to Gracia Elementary School, Casinglot Elementary School, and Tagoloan Central School in November.
In December, MCT and the Foundation donated handwashing basins, water containers, liquid hand soap and disinfectant, rubber foot baths and disinfectant mats to Tagoloan Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office (MSWDO). The items were distributed among child development centers, rural improvement club children centers, and MSWDO attached agencies in the city.
Sharing the spirit of the Holidays, MCT and the Foundation extended cash gifts to 46 special education learners from Tagoloan Central School in December as part of the Foundation’s annual Handog Salo-Salo sa Pasko activity for 2020.
Appreciating small wins
In 2020, MCT celebrated small wins that served as bright spots in the rather turbulent year. The Company launched its “PeopleFirst” initiative, which aims to introduce a new workplace culture that inspires employees to continuously move forward despite business challenges. The program covers enhanced compensation and benefits, employee safety, people engagement and labor relations, focus on employee wellness, development training, as well as employee leadership and functional development training.
In October, MCT reached its milestone throughput of 2.5 million TEUs that stemmed from the consistent volume growth over the last 13 years. The record TEU was achieved during the handling of Evergreen’s M/V Leopard.
MCT also signed the updated version of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Philippine Bureau of Customs and other stakeholders in the region, which aims to clearly set forth the facilitation of cargo movement, especially the transfer of containers subject to examination from the terminal to the Customs Clearance Area – Designated Examination Area (CCA-DEA). The MOU outlines the responsibilities of each signing party to guarantee smooth operation, deliver prompt action or resolutions, and safeguard the interest of both port operator and the government – all in line with Republic Act 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018.
The Company also formalized its partnership with Thailand-based Regional Container Lines (RCL), which launched the South Philippines 6 (RSP6) weekly service that connects the Philippines’ Visayas and Mindanao regions to Asia and the Middle East via Singapore. The maiden voyage for the new route covering Singapore–Cebu–Cagayan–Singapore started in December with the 628-TEU MV Pira Bhum–the first of two vessels sailing under the RSP6 service. The vessels stop at Singapore, which serves as a transshipment hub connecting Cebu, Cagayan de Oro, and Zamboanga, before sailing to China, South Korea, Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent, and the Middle East.
Finally, MCT remains a COVID-free facility. The Company’s strict monitoring, widespread employee education and awareness, and well-implemented safety and health protocols have prevented employees from contracting the disease–something that MCT will continue to work maintain until the end of the health crisis.
MCT opened a newly improved empty container depot (ECD) and commissioned five new terminal tractors along with a 15-tonner forklift in March. The 4.5-hectare ECD offers a static capacity of 3,060 TEUs and is fully equipped to serve at any time. This value-added service aims to improve the terminal’s efficiency and capacity, and at the same time, ensure that all cargoes are safe and secure.
MCT also expanded its berths by installing inland bollards and dolphin moor.
Looking forward to the future
MCT looks to build on the momentum from last year to further improve its operations.
After the opening of the ECD, the Company plans to open a stuffing and stripping facility inside the terminal–another value-added service offering improved efficiency for MCT’s customers.
MCT is also expanding is equipment fleet with the acquisition of a new mobile harbor crane and two additional RTGs that are set to arrive in 2022. MCT will also conduct major repair and maintenance of its quay, quay cranes and RTGs this year.
As the future continues to look bright, MCT thanks its hard-working and dedicated staff who worked tirelessly to ensure the terminal’s uninterrupted operation at the height to of the pandemic. The management is humbled by the team’s spirit of service and commitment.