PCG beefs up security plan for summer break, Holy Week exodus-A A +A
Saturday, March 22, 2014
WITH only few more weeks before the summer season officially starts, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) placed all its units on heightened alert as the agency is already preparing for the influx of passengers in various port terminal for the upcoming Holy Week vacation.
Coast Guard Public Affairs chief Commander Armando Balilo said that during the agency's command conference on Friday, PCG commandant Vice Admiral Rodolfo Isorena ordered all officials and personnel to beef up security measures at all ports and ferry terminals across the country since the Holy Week and long summer vacation is already approaching.
Thousands of passengers are expected to troop to the provinces and beach resorts in the provinces during this season.
"As early as now, nagpatawag si Admiral Isorena ng command conference para ma-lay down na yung preparations ng namin para sa dagsa not only for Holy Week but for the entire summer," Balilo said.
Balilo said that all PCG units were advised to ensure that all maritime activities are monitored and that all Coast Guard personnel and assets are ready and prepared to respond to any maritime incident immediately.
He added that they have directed ship inspectors and Coast Guard K-9 teams to exercise extra vigilance in ports with random checks on passengers and luggage.
He also appeals for the cooperation of passengers on security measures being put in place in port terminal to ensure their safe travel.
"The Coast Guard leadership also ordered to intensify the mandatory pre-departure inspection to prevent overloading of passenger vessels and to ensure that vessels are seaworthy prior to departure particularly that shipping vessels must have adequate number of life-saving equipment," Balilo said.
As per coordination with the ship owners and operators, passengers should be at the seaport at least three hours before departure time, avoid restricted cargo such as flammable liquids and solids, corrosive materials, toxic and infectious substances, compressed gasses, radioactive materials and explosives to avoid search delays and inconveniences.
Balilo added that Passenger Assistance Center booths will be jointly manned by teams from PCG, Department of Transportation and Communication, Philippine Ports Authority, Maritime Industry Authority, and the Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary with close coordination with the Philippine National Police to address the concerns of passengers. (Sunnex)