The Port Authority of Guam released its Fiscal Year 2021 Citizen-Centric Report, which showed an increase in the agency's operation expenditures.

The Port recorded a $2.6 million increase during Fiscal Year 2021 in operating expenses from $55.7 million in FY 2020. That's a 4.6% increase, according to its latest citizen-centric report.

As required by local law, GovGuam agencies must create and publish a citizen centric report for the community every fiscal year, which highlights agencies' performances and finances.

Port General Manager Rory Respicio explained that the increase in operating expenditures is due to a rise in pension costs as well as employee benefits.

"What that meant is that $6 million of that had to be captured for post-employment benefits," he said. "So the increases that we're seeing in operations beyond the annual increments is really that requirement. So we didn't just increase our operating expenses to hire all these employees and so that's what this report shows."

The Port spent $58.3 million in operations during FY 2021.

The report also showed that the Port's operating revenues increased by 0.7% or $432,000in FY 2021 from $54.7 million in FY 2020, which totaled to $55.1 million in FY 2021.

Meanwhile, the agency's productivity level increased.

As part of its mission to reduce the turn-around time of ships calling at the terminal, the Port saw lower berth hours for its vessels.

"What that means that the vessel generally spends 17 hours less then what it took back in 2017," Respicio said. "Sometimes we can discharge a vessel, we can discharge her about 20-22 hours. What this means is that the quicker that we can discharge a vessel so that she can sail to her next port means that they are not required to burn as much fuel to make up for the lost time. So we track the burn time, number of container moves and because we're seeing container moves increase then that attributes to the less requirement of time that the vessel has to be here." 

Furthermore, the Port also received a low-risk auditee designation for the third consecutive year. Moody's Investors Service also raised its outlook for the Port from negative, which can be attributed to low leverage, strong liquidity, and the agency's ability to remain fully operational during the COVID-19 pandemic.