Over 23,000 passengers stranded in PH ports due to typhoon ‘Ursula’ – PCG

Robie de Guzman   •   December 24, 2019   •   395

Stranded passengers at the Fast Craft Terminal/Lapuz Wharf were transferred to the evacuation center at Jalandoni Memorial Elementary School. ILOILO CITY DRRMO

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on Tuesday reported a total of 23,789 passengers stranded in ports across the country due to the inclement weather brought about by typhoon Ursula.

The PCG said the stranded passengers were monitored in various ports in Bicol, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Southern Tagalog, Northern Mindanao, Western Visayas and Southern Visayas.

The agency also said the operations of 3,253 rolling cargoes, 46 motorbancas, and 157 vessels also temporarily suspended, while 86 vessels and seven motorbancas are taking shelter due to the bad weather condition.

The PCG said the sea travel are currently suspended in some areas in light of the storm signals hoisted by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).

The agency also stressed that its strict implementation of the order to suspend sea travel in areas under storm warning signal is for the safety of the public.

“Nagsususpend po tayo ng biyahe base sa weather forecast na inilalabas ng PAG-ASA. Hangarin po namin ang kaligtasan ng bawat isa,” the PCG said in response to complaints it received on its Facebook page.

The PCG has directed all its units to “ensure the strict implementation of the guidelines on the movement of vessels during heavy weather to ensure the safety of lives and properties at all costs.”

PAGASA earlier reported that typhoon Ursula made a landfall over Salcedo, Eastern Samar at 4:45 p.m.

In its 5 p.m. weather bulletin, the state weather bureau said Ursula’s eye wall is bringing violent winds over the southern portion of Eastern Samar and is likely to affect Biliran, the southern portion of Samar and the norther part of Leyte in the coming hours.

PAGASA said the typhoon is packing maximum sustained winds of 120 kilometers per hour (kph) and gustiness of up to 150 kph.

It is moving west at the speed of 25 kph.

Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal (TCWS) Number 3 is up in the following areas:

  • Masbate including Ticao island
  • Northern Samar
  • Samar
  • Eastern Samar
  • Biliran
  • Leyte
  • Extreme Northern Cebu including Camotes island (Daanbantayan, Medellin, Bantayan, Sta. Fe, Madridejos, San Francisco, Poro, Tudela and Pilar)

TCWS no. 2 is up in:

  • Southern portion of Quezon (Mulanay, San Narciso, San Andres, San Francisco)
  • Marinduque
  • Oriental Mindoro
  • Occidental Mindoro including Lubang Island
  • Romblon
  • Albay
  • Sorsogon
  • Burias Island
  • Calamian and Cuyo Islands
  • Central portion of northern Cebu (Bogo City, Tabogon, Tabuelan, Borbon)
  • Northeastern Iloilo (Carles, Balasan, Estancia, Batad, San Dionisio, Sara, Concepcion, Lemery, and Ajuy)
  • Northern Antique (Libertad, Pandan, Sebaste, Culasi, Tibiao)
  • Capiz
  • Aklan
  • Southern Leyte
  • Northern Negros Occidental (Enrique B. Magalona, Victorias, Manapla, Cadiz, Sagay, Escalante, Toboso)
  • Dinagat Islands

Meanwhile, wind signal no. 1 is hoisted over the following areas:

  • Bulacan
  • Bataan
  • Metro Manila
  • Rizal
  • Cavite
  • The rest of Quezon
  • Laguna
  • Batangas
  • Camarines Sur
  • Camarines Norte
  • Catanduanes
  • Northern Palawan (Linapacan, El Nido, Taytay, Araceli, Dumaran, San Vicente, Roxas)
  • The rest of Cebu
  • Bohol
  • Siquijor
  • The rest of Antique
  • The rest of Iloilo
  • Guimaras
  • Negros Oriental
  • The rest of Negros Occidental
  • Surigao del Norte including Siargao and Bucas Grande Islands

The typhoon is seen to bring occasional to frequent heavy rains over Dinagat Islands, Siargao, Bucas Grande Islands, Eastern Visayas, Sorsogon, Masbate, northern and Central Cebu, northern Negros Provinces, Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Iloilo, Guimaras and Romblon. 

Light to moderate with intermittent heavy rains over the rest of Bicol Region, Quezon, Marinduque, Oriental Mindoro, and the rest of Visayas and Surigao del Norte, according to PAGASA.

Moderate to strong winds will also affect Bicol Region and portions of Central Visayas tonight; CALABARZON, and portions of MIMAROPA and Western Visayas on Wednesday morning; Metro Manila, Bulacan, and Bataan Wednesday afternoon.

PAGASA said medium to high-risk structures may experience light damage.

The agency has advised residents in these areas to take appropriate measures to reduce the potential impact of flooding and rain-induced landslides, especially in areas identified to be highly susceptible to these hazards.

PAGASA also warned of possible storm surge of up to two meters which may affect the several coastal areas of Eastern Samar, Northern Samar, and Leyte.

Ursula is expected to leave the Philippine area of responsibility on Saturday, December 28.

PH inks deal with Japanese firm for procurement of 2 PCG patrol ships

Robie de Guzman   •   February 7, 2020

DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade (L) and Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co. Ltd. president and CEO, Koji Okura (R) led the signing of the contract for the supply and delivery of two (2) units of Multi-Role Response Vessels (MRRVs) under the Maritime Safety Capability Improvement Project, Phase II, 7 February 2020.

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Friday said it has signed a deal with Japanese firm Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co. Ltd. to supply and deliver two units of multi-role response vessels (MRRV) for the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).

DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade and Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co. Ltd. president and CEO, Koji Okura led the signing of the contract held earlier in the day.

During the ceremony, Tugade said the development, which is under phase II of Maritime Safety Capability Improvement Project, is a breakthrough towards the government’s thrust of modernizing and upgrading the country’s maritime protection and border control.

“The modernization of the Philippine Coast Guard has been going fast and quick and very meaningful… The government of Japan has contributed very much, and to which I express my appreciation for your continued support,” he added.

The MRRVs are measuring approximately 94-meters, have a maximum speed of not less than 24 knots and an endurance of not less than 4,000 nautical miles.

The additional patrol vessels are seen to further boost the PCG’s response to maritime incidents in the country’s waters, up to the exclusive economic zone (EEZ), such as search and rescue operations, maritime security operations, and marine environmental protection, among others.

“It is a big stride to the development of this country in the context of maritime security and maritime safety,” PCG Commandant Admiral Joel Garcia said.

The new vessels are expected to be delivered to the country by 2022.

President Koji Okura, meanwhile, expressed his intent to continuously work with the Philippine government in delivering various projects, and initiatives.

“We look forward to working with you all, in this important project and we sincerely appreciate your continuous cooperation to make this project successful,” he said.

PPA: Cargo ships from China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan may now anchor in Phl ports

Maris Federez   •   February 6, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) has allowed the cargo ships from China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan to anchor in any of the country’s seaports.

PPA general-manager Jay Santiago said the cargoes will not be contaminated with the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) as viruses die within 10 hours in an external environment as explained by health experts.

“The Bureau of Quarantine has already lifted that measure and we will now allow ships even from China, Hongkong, Macau, Taiwan to directly berth and discharge cargoes at the port of Manila and all other PPA operated ports,” Santiago said.

The official, however, clarified that the crews of the cargo ships will not be allowed to disembark.

Personnel from the Bureau of Quarantine will be the one to board the ship to check on the passengers and ensure that none of them present any symptoms of the 2019-nCoV.

“They will not be allowed to disembark in the Philippines’ port they will be required to stay aboard the ships,” said Santiago.

Meanwhile, three sea vessels from China were not permitted to dock in Dumaguete City in Negros Oriental.

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said the cargo ships arrived in Dumaguete City on Tuesday (Feb. 4) afternoon but the 11 Filipino crews were not allowed to get off as they need to undergo the 14-day quarantine.

The ships are still awaiting the designated quarantine officers who will check on all the crews. — (from the report of Dante Amento) /mbmf

PCG personnel in ports told to wear protective gears vs. nCoV

Robie de Guzman   •   January 31, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on Friday said it has implemented stricter guidelines and preventive measures to protect its port personnel against novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

In a statement, PCG Commandant Admiral Joel Garcia said the guidelines are specifically intended to protect individuals who are performing port state control functions, including vessel boarding procedures.

Garcia urged PCG personnel to strictly follow the following measures to keep themselves from being infected and to deter any possibility of spreading the deadly coronavirus strain:

1) Avoid close contact between port state control officers and ship’s crew;

2) Wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) such as N95 masks, latex gloves, and boots, especially if close contact with any of the ship’s crew cannot be avoided;

3) Properly and immediately dispose PPE after usage to avoid possible contaminations;

4) Maintain clean hands and use hand sanitizers at all times;

5) Ensure the availability and placement of hand sanitizers in all stations;

6) Immediately report if any of the ship’s crew is found to have developed any sign or symptom of flu or pneumonia during the boarding procedure;

7) Advice ship’s crew to limit or avoid unnecessary movement outside the vessel and to wear PPE if required to disembark to Philippine shores; and

8) Ensure that ship’s crew follow the guidelines in handling vessel’s waste disposal.

Garcia said coast guard personnel shall observe the abovementioned guidelines before and after boarding a suspected vessel that came from any country with reported cases of NCoV infection, based on their port of origin or last port call for the last 14 days.

Garcia said the imposition of more stringent measures for its port state control officers is in compliance with the directive issued by Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade against the deadly virus.

The move follows the Department of Health’s confirmation of the first novel coronavirus case in the country.


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