PCG deploys assets to secure waters off Trasclacion 2020 routes

Robie de Guzman   •   January 8, 2020   •   567

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on Wednesday said it is all set in providing maritime security in line with the observance of the annual Traslacion in Manila on January 9.

In a statement, the PCG said 36 floating assets and more than 270 of its personnel have been deployed along the waters off the Traslacion route, particularly in major operational areas in Quiapo Church, Ayala Bridge, and Quirino Grandstand.

The agency said that assets deployed in strategic areas include the multi-role response vessels, fast patrol boats, and small crafts such as high-speed boats and rigid hull inflatable boats.

Rubber boats were also positioned to make sure that the critical areas are highly monitored against any untoward incident during the procession, the PCG added.

K9 units, quick response teams, medical groups, and force multipliers from the PCG Auxiliary were also deployed to ensure the safety of thousands of people expected to participate in the yearly event in Manila.

The agency said it is also conducting coastal security operations along the vicinity waters off Quirino Grandstand and Pasig River, particularly in Ayala Bridge, McArthur Bridge, Quezon Bridge and Jones Bridge from January 7 to January 10.

The PCG called on the event participants to observe security measures and heed policies being implemented to help achieve government target of zero-casualty during the Traslacion 2020.

It also urged the public to report to authorities any suspicious individual, things or incident for immediate and appropriate action.

PCG sues energy company over Iloilo oil spill

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 13, 2020

The Philippine Coast Guard has filed a complaint against AC Energy, Inc. and its executives for the oil spill in Iloilo City last July 3.

The PCG filed the complaint at the Iloilo Provincial Prosecutor’s Office for violation of Section 107 of Republic Act 8550 or the Fisheries Code.

Based on the initial investigation of the PCG, they saw sufficient evidence to prove the negligence of the thermal energy firm.

If proven guilty, there will be an initial fine of P300,000 or up to P500,000 for damage. The company might also face suspension or closure.

“The PCG, as a law enforcement body in marine environmental protection, will ensure that the failure of one company serves as a relevant lesson to others. We need everyone’s cooperation to protect and conserve our limited marine resources,” said PCG Commandant Vice-Admiral George V. Ursabia Jr.

The Iloilo oil spill caused contamination in some coastal areas in the city and 23 affected communities. Around 400 families were displaced and marine organisms were damaged.

READ: Mangrove trees likely to die due to oil spill in Iloilo, expert says

Meanwhile, authorities continue the cleanup operation where 90% of the spilled oil was already recovered. –AAC (with reports from Asher Cadapan Jr.)

PH Coast Guard commissions new helicopter to service

Robie de Guzman   •   June 19, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) has commissioned into service one of its two new Airbus H145 light twin-engine helicopters.

In a statement, the PCG said its Commandant, Vice Admiral George Ursabia graced the “simple and private ceremony” on Thursday at the Coast Guard Aviation Force Hangar in the Domestic Airport Complex.

The PCG said the new air asset from Germany is a four-tonne-class twin-engine helicopter equipped with high-frequency radios, emergency flotation gear, fast roping, cargo sling, and searchlight.

It is also equipped with electro-optical systems to perform critical missions including search and rescue, medical evacuation, maritime patrol, and maritime law enforcement.

The PCG said that amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the new helicopter is being utilized in transporting personal protective equipment (PPE) sets and medical supplies in various cities and provinces across the country to support the nationwide battle for public health and safety.

Stranded whale rescued in Bagac, Bataan

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 19, 2020

A stranded pilot whale was rescued along the coastal waters of a private beach resort in Bagac, Bataan on Monday (June 15).

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) rescued the short-finned whale and immediately brought her to a nearby lagoon. Upon evaluation, the pilot whale was found to be weak and under stress. It is approximately three meters in length.

“The concerned veterinarian provided her with anti-stress antibiotics and took blood samples to further determine her health condition,” the PCG said in a post.

The PCG said they will continue to monitor the whale until full recovery before releasing it back into the ocean. AAC

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