'Undas' travelers urged to arrive early at port-A A +A
Monday, October 29, 2012
MANILA -- With the All Saints and Souls' out of town exodus peaking, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on Monday urged all seagoing travelers to be on the port and terminal of their embarkation three hours before their scheduled departure to avoid any confusion or being left behind by their ship.
Lieutenant Commander Armand Balilo, PCG spokesperson, said the three-hour margin will ensure that the travelers will have ample time for traffic, having their baggage checked by security personnel, and buying food and drinks for the trip ahead.
He also urged ship passengers to refrain from carrying unlicensed firearms, narcotics, bladed weapons, explosives or pyrotechnic devices and gasoline or liquified petroleum gasoline (LPG) cookers as they could be arrested for bringing these.
Rear Admiral Luis Tuason Jr., PCG vice commandant for operations, earlier said all Coast Guard units in port and ferry terminals are now placed in a high-state of alert as part of the efforts to ensure that the annual holidays will be incident-free.
“There is a recent mandate to all Coast Guard Personnel nationwide to be on heightened alert for security purposes upon the Department of Transportation and Communication Secretary Joseph Abaya’s instruction and prompted additional personnel deployment on all critical ports to ensure orderly, safe, convenient and secure sea travel”, Tuason said.
He added that all PCG units are also advised to ensure that all maritime activities are monitored 24/7 and that all PCG personnel and assets are ready and prepared to respond to any maritime incident.
The maritime law enforcement agency also directed ship inspectors and Coast Guard K-9 teams to exercise extra vigilance in ports with random checks on passengers and luggage more than the usual.
He also appealed for patient understanding and cooperation of the passengers with regards to the tighter security steps enforced for the passenger exodus to ascertain their travel safety. (PNA)