PCG on heightened alert for Lenten week, summer vacation

Robie de Guzman   •   March 26, 2021   •   246

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) has placed its districts, stations, and sub-stations on heightened alert to manage the anticipated influx of port passengers during the Lenten week from March 28 to April 3, and the summer vacation period.

In a statement on Friday, PCG Commandant Admiral George Ursabia said he has ordered the deployment of additional K9 units, medical teams, and deployable response groups on major seaports to increase Coast Guard visibility, manage port passengers and oversee maritime traffic.

“PCG personnel shall also aid the provision of additional terminal facilities for passenger comfort while ensuring the readiness of contingency plans for emergency responses,” Ursabia said.

Due to the prevailing threat of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), health protocols, as well as the proper wearing of face masks and face shields shall be strictly observed on board passenger ships and other water conveyances.

The Coast Guard Commandant said he has also directed the placement of additional harbor patrollers and vessel inspectors to enforce maritime security and maritime safety measures, in coordination with local government units and other concerned agencies.

This aims to establish and maintain systematized operations of sea transport facilities; safe and convenient travel of the riding public; as well as the health, safety, and security of local tourists in beaches, island resorts, and other coastal vacation spots.

The PCG shall also necessitate the 24/7 availability of a sufficient number of lifeguards, rescue equipment, and first aid facilities in major tourist destinations, the agency said.

Help desks in port terminals will also be activated to extend further assistance to the riding public.

“Leisure and tourism travel outside the ‘NCR Plus Bubble’ may not be allowed during the Lenten season, but we prepare for the expected increase in the number of local tourists after the two-week intensified border control in Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal,” Ursabia said.

“Rest assured we will guarantee their safety, security, reliability, and comfort by safeguarding the seaworthiness of passenger vessels and other watercraft, as well as recreational equipment, platforms, and facilities,” he added.

The PCG urged the riding public to coordinate with the Coast Guard Public Affairs at 0927-560-7729 for inquiries, concerns, and clarifications regarding sea travel protocols and regulations.

Pila ng mga truck na stranded sa Matnog Port, umabot na sa 4 kilometro — PCG

Robie de Guzman   •   April 20, 2021

Umabot na sa apat na kilometro ang haba ng mga truck na kasalukuyang nakapila sa Matnog Port sa Sorsogon, ayon sa Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).

Ayon sa PCG, humaba ang pila ngayong Martes dahil kabuuang 302 rolling cargo na ang nakatigil ngayon sa pantalan habang naghihintay ng panunumbalik ng shipping operation.

Aabot rin sa 889 pasahero, tsuper ng mga truck at cargo helper ang stranded sa nasabing pantalan.

Simula noong Biyernes, Abril 16 ay suspendido na ang biyahe ng mga sasakyang pandagat sa Matnog Port bilang pag-iingat sa posibleng pinsala ng bagyong Bising.

Sa obserbasyon ng PCG Station Sorsogon kaninang Martes ng umaga, ‘moderate sea condition’ at ‘moderate winds’ ang nararanasan ngayon sa Matnog Port ngunit wala pang utos hinggil sa muling paglalayag ng mga sasakyang pandagat.

Sa pinakahuling ulat ng Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Service Administration (PAGASA), napanatili ng bagyo ng lakas nito habang mabagal na kumikilos patungo sa direksyon ng Quezon.

Huli itong namataan 475 kilometro silangan ng Infanta, Quezon taglay ang lakas ng hanging aabot sa 175 kilometro kada oras malapit sa gitna at pagbugsong aabot sa 215 kilometro kada oras.

Sa pagtaya ng PAGASA, patuloy na hihina ang bagyo sa mga susunod na araw at maaaring ibaba na lamang sa severe tropical storm pagsapit ng araw ng Sabado o Linggo.

Samantala, tiniyak naman ng PCG na 24-oras na bukas ang DOTr Malasakit Help Desk para magbigay ng ayuda sa mga naipit na pasahero.

Over 2,700 passengers stranded in various ports due to ‘Bising’ – PCG

Robie de Guzman   •   April 20, 2021

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on Tuesday said that a total of 2,792 passengers, drivers and cargo helpers were stranded in various ports in Bicol, Eastern Visayas, Central Visayas, and northeastern Mindanao after sea trips were suspended due to Typhoon Bising.

In an update, the PCG reported that 1,032 rolling cargoes were also stranded while 55 vessels and 54 motorbancas were taking shelter in the said areas due to the weather disturbance.

As of 4 a.m. April 20, the PCG monitored 1,185 stranded individuals in the Eastern Visayas; 435 rolling cargoes and 14 vessels were also stranded in the region’s ports.

In Bicol, 971 passengers, drivers and helpers were reported stranded, as well as three vessels and 325 rolling cargoes.

Around 109 individuals were also stranded in Central Visayas as well as 19 vessels and 75 rolling cargoes; while in northeastern Mindanao, 527 persons were stranded along with 197 rolling cargoes.

The PCG noted rough sea condition over northeastern Mindanao while moderate to rough sea condition was observed in Bicol region.

As of the 11 a.m. severe weather bulletin, PAGASA said Typhoon Bising has maintained its strength while slowly moving north-northwestward east of Quezon.

Bising was last located at 475 kilometers east of Infanta, Quezon, packing sustained winds of 175 kilometers per hour near the center and gustiness of up to 215 kilometers per hour.

Bising is forecast to gradually weaken throughout the forecast period and may be downgraded to severe tropical storm by Saturday evening or Sunday morning, PAGASA said.

PCG seizes P2.8M worth of smuggled cigarettes in Zamboanga Sibugay

Robie de Guzman   •   April 19, 2021

Around P2.8 million worth of smuggled cigarettes were confiscated in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said.

In a statement, the PCG said its personnel from the Zamboanga Sibugay Station seized the smuggled cigarettes along the shoreline of Purok Sampaloc in Barangay Magdaup on April 16.

The Coast Guard said the operation was launched after it received an intelligence report about a “jungkong” type watercraft carrying smuggled cigarettes has departed Zamboanga City en route to Ipil town.

The PCG said it immediately conducted maritime patrol in said vicinity waters and spotted the watercraft loaded with 80 boxes of smuggled cigarettes docked along the shoreline of Purok Sampaloc.

“After confiscating the illegal goods, the team towed the watercraft to the premises of the Coast Guard Station Zamboanga Sibugay for temporary custody as it was also found with no Safety, Security, and Environmental Numbering System (SSEN) marking,” the agency said.

The confiscated items were turned over to the Bureau of Customs at the Port of Zamboanga for investigation and proper disposition, it added.


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