PH Coast Guard on heightened alert for Undas

Robie de Guzman   •   October 28, 2021   •   202

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on Wednesday said it has placed its operating units on heightened alert for the long weekend in line with the observance of Undas.

In a statement, PCG commandant Vice Admiral Leopoldo Laroya said PCG units will be on heightened alert from Oct. 29 to Nov. 3 as port passengers are expected to increase over the weekend to visit their families in the provinces.

Fully vaccinated local tourists are also expected to flock to tourist destinations that are now slowly re-opening, following the reported lower cases of COVID-19 infection in the country.

“Coast Guard Districts conduct 24/7 operations to monitor nautical highways routes, especially in the Visayas where the majority of tourist destinations are now revamping local tourism,” Laroya said.

“I have directed concerned units to ensure maritime security and safety in our western and eastern seaboards, as well as inter-island routes. Our deployable response groups, with the PCG Auxiliary, are all-set for these operations,” he added.

The PCG said western seaboard monitoring includes Batangas, Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Aklan, Iloilo, and Zamboanga region.

Eastern seaboard monitoring, on the other hand, covers Manila, Bicol region, Samar, Leyte, and Surigao provinces.

“We have maritime safety inspectors in port terminals, law enforcement teams in strategic locations, maritime patrol teams in critical vicinity waters, and deployable response groups on standby for possible search and rescue missions,” Laroya said.

The PCG also reminded port passengers and local tourists to remain vigilant on the upcoming holiday to avoid untoward incidents.

“For the part of the general public, we encourage everyone to carefully check the existing ordinances of their destination as LGUs have different documentary and testing requirements,” Laroya said.

“Aside from securing their QR code or S-PASS, they also need to prepare their vaccination cards, antigen test, or RT-PCR test. To avoid inconvenience, it is best to consider these reminders beforehand,” he added.

The PCG said it will further intensify operations with the Philippine Ports Authority and the Maritime Industry Authority, specifically in implementing the 50% maximum capacity of passenger vessels to ensure the observance of physical distancing. This is on top of comprehensive vessel safety and security inspections on board.

Its units will also conduct foot patrol in major tourist destinations to continuously remind local tourists to comply with minimum health standards.

“As much as we all want to finally recover from the negative impacts of the global pandemic, we are hoping that the general public will be more patient in complying with stricter measures in ports and tourist destinations for, at the end of the day, these regulations are in place to uphold their health and safety,” Laroya said.

PH Coast Guard sends supplies to residents of Pag-asa Island

Robie de Guzman   •   November 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on Tuesday said it delivered fishing gears and basic supplies to Pag-asa Island, Kalayaan in Palawan over the weekend.

In a statement, PCG spokesperson Commodore Armando Balilo said they turned over the supplies to the local government of Kalayaan Island Group (KIG) in line with the efforts of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) to support the operations of local fishermen in remote territories.

The PCG also ferried provisions for its personnel and policemen stationed on the island.

“Relieving personnel were also transported to provide sufficient rest period to deployed law enforcement teams which is necessary in upholding public health and safety amid the COVID-19 pandemic,” Balilo said.

PCG Commandant, Admiral Leopoldo Laroya said their routine mission in the country’s maritime zones is part of the agency’s commitment to the government’s whole-of-nation approach in safeguarding national interests through rules-based and peaceful approach.

While on their way to Pag-asa Island, the PCG said it monitored a China Coast Guard (CCG) vessel approximately one to two nautical miles away from their vessel but it did not issue a radio challenge.

Pag-asa Island is located some 450 kilometers west of Palawan. It is home to a civilian community and a military outpost.

The presence of Chinese vessels near the island has been reported amid tensions between Manila and Beijing over territorial claims in the West Philippine Sea.

PCG launches second 97-meter ship in Japan

Robie de Guzman   •   November 18, 2021

 MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on Thursday launched its second 97-meter multi-role response vessel (MRRV), the largest in its fleet, at the Shimonoseki Shipyard of Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co. Ltd. in Japan.

In a statement, the PCG said the vessel was acquired by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) for the PCG under the Maritime Safety Capability Improvement Project Phase II.

“These MRRV’s modeled after the Japan Coast Guard (JCG) Kunigami-class vessels are expected to improve the PCG’s maritime security and maritime safety capabilities,” the coast guard said.

The PCG said that each of the new MRRVs has a maximum speed of not less than 24 knots, and an endurance of not less than 4,000 nautical miles.

The ships are capable of conducting sustained maritime patrols in the country’s maritime jurisdictions, including the West Philippine Sea and Philippine Rise.

“The two vessels will significantly boost the capabilities of the PCG in conducting maritime search and rescue, maritime law enforcement, as well as humanitarian assistance and disaster response operations,” the PCG said.

The first MRRV was launched in the same shipyard on July 26, 2021. It is expected to arrive in Manila by March 2022 while the second vessel will follow months later.

33 individuals apprehended in Cavite waters for illegal fishing – PCG

Robie de Guzman   •   November 10, 2021

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on Wednesday said it has apprehended 33 individuals allegedly engaging in illegal fishing operations in waters off Cavite City.

In a report, the PCG said the local fishermen were on board seven motorbancas from Tangos, Navotas City.

They were caught while conducting actual trawl fishing activity 2.5 nautical miles off Sangley Point on November 9, it added.

“They were informed that they violated Cavite City Ordinance Number 06 – 3149 Section 2 (Trawl and Fine Mesh Net Fishing Inside Municipal Waters),” the coast guard said.

The PCG said the apprehended motorbancas were brought to the impounding areas at Barangay 49-M Akasya, Cavite City for proper documentation and filing of appropriate charges.


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