August 2020 — The Commonwealth Ports Authority (CPA), Port of Saipan has seen a gradual decrease in both inbound and outbound cargoes since the CNMI Office of the Governor issued the Executive Order No. 2020-04 which states “Declaration of State of Public Health Emergency and Continued Declaration of State of Significant Emergency Establishing Response, Quarantine, and Preventive Containment Measures Concerning Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).” On the same Executive Order No. 2020-04, it states that “it is hereby ORDERED that DIRECTIVE 7: Effective immediately, and until further notice, all government offices and all non-essential government functions are shut down for two weeks. All non-essential personnel are asked to stay home until further notice. Essential personnel shall be identified for COVID-19 public health emergency related work. Mayors of the municipalities shall have discretion in designating employees that engage in public health emergency related work.” As a result, the Port is seeing a decrease in incoming commodities, especially the constructions materials.
The impact of COVID-19 has reduced inbound containers as well as commercial vessels calling on Port of Saipan by almost 40 per cent for May 2020 compared to April 2020. In terms of port operations, it has reduced activity compared to the last fiscal year where at times the Port was very congested with vessels calling the Port of Saipan. At this present time, the operation or activity at the port runs very smoothly.
The Commonwealth Ports Authority (CPA), Port of Saipan priorities in the future will be to expand the port area for the operation of the Ro/Ro Passenger Ferry Vessel so it will not hamper any activities related to military or commercial vessels and will ease the traffic of different vehicles entering the Port areas. The biggest concern will be the safety and security for both or either parties.
The Port of Saipan had forecast for the coming years that there would be an increase in passenger activities between the islands of Tinian and Saipan as proposed by a company to serve both islands. With this in mind, this would increase the activity of passengers here at the port and will benefit most especially our local people and hopefully we will see increase in revenue as well as local economy.