Officials mark Port Week, laud critical role of port during the pandemic

Port Authority of Guam General Manager Rory Respicio. (PNC file photo)

With Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero proclaiming Oct 26 to 30 as Port Week, officials are reminding the community of the critical role the Port plays during the pandemic as it keeps the supply chain of goods flowing into Guam and throughout the region.

The Port Authority of Guam employs around 365 workers and serves as a local economic engine generating indirect jobs and opportunities for the community.

But according to Port General Manager Rory Respicio, the Port had to reinvent itself as the island tackles the challenges of the pandemic.

And as they work tirelessly to keep the Guam port 100 percent operational, port officials also had to protect and ensure the health and safety of its own workers.

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“Here at the Port, we face challenges every day and in addition to the operational challenges of COVID-19, what’s added to the mix is 19 of our coworkers testing positive and above 400 of our coworkers getting a COVID-19 test administered by Public Health,” Respicio said.

He added: “We took immediate steps to mitigate the spread of this virus following Governor Leon Guerrero and Public Health’s directives as well as the Center for Disease Control guidelines for critical infrastructure workers.”

Guam’s commercial seaport serves as a transshipment hub not only for Micronesia but for the entire Western Pacific. According to the Port Authority, more than 90 percent of the island’s goods and supplies pass over the seaport.