THE Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) in Southern Mindanao has beefed up security measures to prevent any untoward incident while on sea travel, especially with the onset of the rainy season.

Commodore Joselito dela Cruz, PCG commander for Southern Mindanao, said his unit has been conducting emergency readiness evaluation (ERE) for all commercial vessels operating in Davao Region.

Dela Cruz said the ERE is aimed to evaluate the readiness of their officers and personnel in responding to aboard ship emergencies.

"We have been conducting the ERE dun sa apat na Ro-ro (roll-on/roll-off) sa may west. Everybody [inside the vessel] is expected to have idea on response and emergency procedures," dela Cruz said.

The evaluation included procedures in case the ship incurred damage, collision at port, pirates at sea, abandoned ship, engine trouble, a passenger who have jumped overboard while they are navigating, and burning incident.

Aside from the ERE, dela Cruz said the PCG has been conducting a pre-departure inspection especially on the number of passengers boarding a vessel, and public awareness to underline safety, particularly on fishing community.

"This is a continuous monitoring. In fact, it is a routine activity na bago maglalayag yung mga water craft, we really see to it that the passengers or water boats are seaworthy regardless of the weather condition," dela Cruz said.

Dela Cruz also said its unit has also formed a response team, composed of divers, paramedics, and rescue swimmers, among others, which will be deployed in case there is an emergency.