Relief operations underway in Cebu after Ursula fury

Robie de Guzman   •   December 26, 2019   •   412

MANILA, Philippines – Relief operations are underway in northern Cebu after the area was pummeled by violent winds and heavy rains brought about by typhoon Ursula (international name: Phanfone), the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said.

The PCG said a total of 2,800 boxes of relief goods have been shipped on Thursday, December 26, to typhoon-hit areas in northern Cebu, particularly Caranza and Malapascua islands.

The food packs came from the Department of Social Welfare and Development Region 7 and Cebu Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officce.

Ursula’s lashing winds and rains damaged many structures in northern Cebu. It also felled trees and electrical posts which blocked highways in several towns, particularly in Daanbantayan, Bantayan island, Medellin and Sta. Fe.

Local authorities have begun clearing roads of debris on Wednesday morning.

At the height of Ursula’s onslaught, more than 48,000 individuals were evacuated from coastal villages in mainland northern Cebu as well as in Malapascua, Camotes and Bantayan islands.

Aside from bringing relief goods, the PCG said the BRP Capones will also be deployed to conduct maritime surface patrol to assess the possible effects of typhoon Ursula in the waters of northern Cebu. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Gladys Toabi)

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

Chinese tourist dead, 27 rescued in Boracay boat mishap

Robie de Guzman   •   January 22, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – A Chinese national died while 27 others were rescued after an island-hopping boat capsized in waters off Boracay Island on Tuesday, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said.

The PCG said its personnel from Boracay sub-station were able to rescue 25 tourist passengers as well as three crew members of the boat.

However, the rescuers failed to revive a 45-year old female tourist despite performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

Three other female passengers who needed medical assistance were brought to the nearest hospital.

“They have regained consciousness and are declared safe and in good condition,” the PCG said.

Remaining survivors are also safe and in good physical condition, the agency added.

The coast guard said motorbanca “Jocelyn 1” capsized along the waters off Barangay Balabag in Boracay after encountering strong winds that broke the boat’s outrigger on Tuesday morning.

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