Coast Guard extra alert on vessels this yuletide season PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 06 December 2011 17:15

Philippine Coast Guard Southwestern Mindanao District Commander  Commodore Enrico Efren A. Evangelista has directed all Coast Guard  station commanders in the region to be extra vigilant and alert  during this yuletide season, particularly in checking all passengers and cargoes who are boarding a vessel before departure.

Commodore Evangelista also instructed all station commanders to double check  and monitor all private wharves and unauthorized ports  in the region and not to allowing colorum motorlaunch vessels  to engage in hiring of passengers for transport.

Last week, a motorlaunch was seized by the Philippine Coast Guard for carrying would-be victims of human trafficking believed to be  bound for Sabah, Malaysia. The motorlaunch was carrying 278 passengers. It was stopped on November 21,2011 at the vicinity of Taganak Group of Islands.

Evangelista likewise directed Coast Guard personnel manning wharves in the region  to double check passengers and cargoes  before boarding a vessel and not to allow them to board a vessel with items that would endanger the voyage like firecrackers, pyrotechnics and other explosives.

His firm instruction is to check if every vessel or motorlaunch has sufficient water before departure.

Evangelista said the Philippine Coast  Guard is now on heightened alert due to the heavy influx of passengers going home to the province or on vacation  this yuletide season.

The PCG in coordination with the Department on Transportation and Communication, Maritime Industry Authority and Philippine Ports Authority, has put up a Passengers Assistance Center in all wharves. — Allen Abastillas