CEBU Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia is eyeing to use the equipment of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) to monitor the entry of contraband into the province.

This came after Garcia checked out the Vessel Traffic Management System and National Coast Watch System of the PCG District Central Visayas headquarters in Pier 3, Cebu City on Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2023.

The governor, accompanied by the members of the One Cebu Inter-Agency Interdiction Task Force (OCIAITF), was welcomed by Commodore Luisito Sibayan, PCG district commander, during her visit to the headquarters.

The OCIATF is working with all government organizations to achieve its objective of limiting, if not entirely preventing, the entry of illegal drugs into Cebu.

During the OCIAITF’s last meeting at the Capitol last week, it was agreed that to monitor undocumented arrivals and suspicious activities of vessels with turned-off transponders, the task force would tap the resources of the PCG. The governor heads the task force, with the Capitol identified as its headquarters.

During the visit, PCG officers demonstrated how their systems and mechanisms operate during a routine 24-hour monitoring, informing the governor of the various phases in the works to further strengthen their equipment capability with the help of the task force and the Provincial Government.

Aside from relying on sea vision, one phase proposed includes adding seven more radars to the existing three radars to be able to better monitor suspicious offshore vessels that enter Cebu’s waters.

Governor Garcia said she will be sending a team of IT professionals to assist in the enhancement of the current systems in place along with financial assistance for improvements at the PCG. (PAC / TPT)