Port prepares for 25,000 Camiguin influx for Lent-A A +A
Saturday, April 12, 2014
BALINGOAN, Misamis Oriental – Port authorities here assured preparedness for the arrival of an estimated 25,000 passengers headed to Camiguin Island during the Holy Week.
“Between holy Tuesday to Thursday we expect around 6,000 passengers day or a total of around 18,000 within just three days. This is sure to increase if we include the passengers that would cross on Monday and on Good Friday, so I’m sure it will be around 25,000. We will be in full alert as we estimate three ships crossing between Balingoan to Camiguin within an hour,” said PO1 Elizer Palmares, sub-station commander of Balingoan coast guard.
Palmares said the personnel will focus on securing the ships.
“Our primary concern will be on the security of our ships and their passengers during the trip. We have already requested for an augmentation of additional personnel, this will be two regular and eight auxiliary coast guards. We will also have our K-9 teams prepared and rescue boats ready in case emergency situations arise,” he said.
Gilbert Anthony Gineno, terminal manager of Balingoan port, said the operational plan for the entire Holy Week is ready.
“We already had our meeting with all the key stakeholders involved in preparing the port area for the influx of passengers. There will be rerouting of all the vehicles that will be loaded to lessen the problems of congestion which was encountered in the past years,” said Gineno.
He said there will be other units from other sectors that will be helping to make the trips of the passengers safer.
“There will be medical teams on standby with ambulance in case of emergency or an immediate first aid treatment would be needed. The municipal police officer has assured to provide twenty police personnel that will also be augmented by barangay marshals from the three barangays in the port area,” said the terminal manager.
Gineno added that during normal days the ships that would ferry the passengers and vehicles only travel to Camiguin until 5:30 in the afternoon but during the holy week it will push until the evening.
“We will extend the travel hours until 10:00 in the evening, between holy Tuesday until Thursday with seven ships servicing the passengers,” he said.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on April 12, 2014.