THE Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) is not leaving up to chance the safety of sea travelers in the coming Holy Week.

PCG Commandant Admiral Wilfredo Tamayo said Tuesday that this early, passenger assistance centers will be in place to anticipate the volume of passengers who will flock sea ports nationwide from March 30 to April 14.

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“The centers will particularly help ensure the orderly, safe, and secure conduct of embarkation of passengers and loading of cargo so as to give the PCG Boarding Teams ample time for boarding and inspection of vessels prior to departure,” he said in a statement.

To increase visibility, additional Coast Guard personnel will be deployed to the following ports: Manila, Batangas, Cebu, Zamboanga, Calapan/Roxas (Oriental Mindoro), Abra de Ilog (Occidental Mindoro), Odiongan/Romblon (Romblon), Dalahican (Lucena), Balanacan/Kawit/Sta. Cruz (Marinduque), Atimonan/Puerto Real (Quezon), Matnog (Sorsogon), Allen (Samar), Lipata (Surigao) Balingoan (Misamis Oriental), and Camiguin.

Tamayo also reminded the passengers to be at the seaports at least three hours before departure time; ban on restricted cargo; and gun owners should be able to present necessary documents.

The Holy Week is one of the holidays in this largely Catholic country, next to Christmas season.

The measures being set up are aimed to avoid untoward incidents during the culmination of the Lenten break.

In December last year, two maritime accidents occurred in Luzon that claimed lives and properties.

A wooden-hulled passenger vessel MV Catalyn B of San Nicolas Shipping Lines sank following a collision with the metal-hulled fishing vessel Anatalya off Limbones Island in Cavite just before dawn on Christmas Eve.

Also, roll-on, roll-off vessel MV Baleno 9 sank off Isla Verde Island in Batangas City last December 26. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)