THE Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on Friday, March 23, activated its Passengers Assistance Centers in anticipation of heavy passenger traffic at the ports during the Holy Week from March 25 to April 1, 2018.

As of 6 a.m. Friday, the PCG said monitored a total of 17,260 outbound passengers in all ports, harbors and piers nationwide.

The Passengers Assistance Centers are established in every port nationwide. It is manned by the PCG and PCG Auxiliary. Medical teams will also be on standby in these booths.

PCG commandant Rear Admiral Elson Hermogino earlier said all units are on alert status from March 21 until April 5, 2018 to ensure the safety and security of all sea travelers.

He said he has tasked all units to “strictly implement maximum security measures and maintain regular monitoring of all ports nationwide.”

Among the safety measures that PCG is undertaking are: intensified inspection of the seaworthiness of vessels; more elaborate pre-departure inspection, particularly on the number of passengers and life saving equipment on board; and examination of a ship’s documents prior to the issuance of a clearance to depart.

Travelers are advised to be at the seaport at least three hours before departure and wear life jackets during the voyage. (MVI/SunStar Philippines)