The Coast Guard District Western Visayas (CGDWV) has been placed under a "red alert" status for the celebration of the Christmas and New Year's Day.
Capt. Weniel Azcuna, CGDWV district commander, said they have been on heightened alert status since December 3 in connection to the Mindanao State University bombing which resulted in four fatalities and more than 50 injuries.
Azcuna said the heightened alert was ordered by Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) commandant, Admiral Ronnie Gil Gavan.
The CGDWV commander said they are expecting an influx of passengers, who are either going home or vacationing, as early as next week, although, so far, the situation at the various ports in Western Visayas are still manageable.
In response to the two incidents involving two ferry operators plying the Iloilo-Bacolod route, Azcuna said they are strictly checking the condition of all vessels prior to leaving port.
The inspections also aim to prevent the overloading of passengers and cargo.
Security at the ports has also been tightened and passengers' baggages are being checked prior to being allowed inside the terminal areas.*