THE Philippine Coast Guard (PCG)-Davao said that by 2018, they will implement "Oplan Guyod" or apprehension of watercrafts around the Davao Gulf that are not registered under the Safety, Security and Environmental Numbering System for maritime security.

PCG Commander George Maganto said on Wednesday, December 20, that since they started their rounds in different coastal barangays in Davao region from Pantukan, Compostela Valley to Malalag, Davao del Sur last July, they have registered almost 5,000 water vessels under the SSE numbering system and most of these are from Davao City in the areas of Bucana, Daliao as well as in Samal.

The registration aims to monitor the activities of sea vessels and apprehend those conducting illegal activities, kidnapping, piracy, smuggling, and other criminal activities. They had also included those unmotorized bancas after the information that these are used for robbery in ships.

This is under the PCG Department Order 2017-001, which requires all Philippine registered sea vessels to register with PCG to monitor all the movements of watercrafts in the area.

It would also allow law enforcers to determine if the water vessel is from the city or not given the numbering system like the one in Land Transportation Office.

For those unregistered owners of watercrafts, they could go to their sub offices located in Malalag, Daliao, Sta. Cruz, Sasa 11, Ilang, Panabo, Babak, Kaputian, and Talikod. Based on their estimate, there are around 500 bancas that are still unregistered.

Once Oplan Guyod will be implemented, they will impound the vessel until such time the owner could provide the necessary documents.

Holiday security measure

Meanwhile, for the upcoming holiday season, PCG has elevated their security measures and implemented a more stringent inspection especially for water vessels transporting passengers. They also establish Passenger Assistance Center for a safer trip and to cater concerns of passengers.

“Every stations meron tayong passenger assistance center and then sa passengers assistance center natin meron tayong mga personnel doon na nag ma-man at the same time sa mga inspection and then mag personnel in charge then sa safety ng mga barko natin bago umalis sa mga respective per stations,” Maganto said.

They already had a meeting with the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) to conduct safety inspection on the watercraft in Davao region especially this coming season where influx of passengers is expected.

Maganto said that they also launched a hotline called Isumbong mo sa Coast Guard Station Davao where they put tarpaulin every banca and all the resorts for immediate action and prevent any illegal activities. The public could contact them at their Landline (082) 227-8537 or text and call 0908-971-4322, 0905-569-2813.