PH Coast Guard ships sail to quake-hit Batanes for relief ops
Robie de Guzman • August 2, 2019 • 608
MANILA, Philippines – Two vessels of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) are on their way to Batanes province to bring relief goods and supplies for the victims of two successive earthquakes that jolted Itbayat town last July 27.
The PCG said the ships called BRP Malabrigo and BRP Capones are carrying relief goods and supplies including tents (steel frame and tent cover), sleeping kits, laminated sack roles (lona), boxes of canned goods, noodles, bottled water, toiletries, powdered milk and packs of rice.
The supplies, which were loaded on the ships on Wednesday (July 31), were from the Department of Social Welfare and Development and the PCG Auxilliary.
The vessels left on Thursday morning but it remains unclear on when the ships will arrive in Batanes due to strong waves, according to the PCG.
According to PCG Commandant Admiral Elson Hermogino, three vessels including the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources’ BRP Francisco Dagohoy have been tasked to conduct a transport mission to Batanes.
The PCG also deployed its Islander plane with medical teams on board to assist the Department of Health (DOH) personnel attending to the medical needs of residents affected by the earthquakes.
CEBU – The Philippine Coast Guard Central Visayas (PCG-7) rescued more than 60 passengers and crew of a ferry boat that capsized off the coast of Sibonga, Cebu on Thursday.
The PCG said MV Siargao Princess was plying a route five miles south of Sibonga when it radioed for help around 11 a.m.
The agency said it immediately sent BRP Suluan to conduct a search and rescue operations in the area and found groups of people floating with life jackets at 1.6 nautical miles of Carcar point, Cebu.
The PCG said a total of 59 people were plucked from the water, while three crew members and one passenger swam to the shore after the boat encountered big waves that allegedly caused the ship “to dip to the front and eventually capsize.”
Initial investigation conducted on the vessel’s master, Captain Antonio Conag, revealed that the boat’s front hatch cover got detached when it was buffeted by fierce winds and sea swells.
Conag said big waves caused the vessel to pitch and take in water until it sunk.
The PCG said rescued passengers were brought to the Cebu port.
The Philippine Navy deployed its biggest vessel, BRP Davao del Sur (LD-602), on Tuesday (November 5) to provide assistance in the ongoing humanitarian aid in Mindanao.
The BRP Davao del Sur carries around 56 tons of assorted cargoes and equipment including mobile kitchens, cargo trucks and towable water treatment trucks from 10th Infantry Division of Philippine Army, Manila Water and Maynilad.
Navy chief Vice Adm. Robert Empedrad issued his directive for the deployment of one of the largest naval assets in order to assist in the humanitarian assistance and disaster response (HADR) to earthquake victims in Mindanao.
“It is a manifestation of the Philippine Navy being always ready and committed to provide prompt assistance to our disaster-stricken fellow Filipinos in order to alleviate them from their current ordeals,” the Philippine Navy said.—AAC
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