Coast Guard to deploy more K-9 units in seaports nationwide

April 12, 2009 7:45 am 

MANILA, April 11 –The Philippine Coast Guard will continue intensifying its security measures as thousands of maritime commuters started flocking the various seaports nationwide.

Admiral Wilfredo Tamayo, Coast Guard commandant, said the influx of ship passengers returning to Manila from provinces started Friday night.

Tamayo said no significant untoward incidents and maritime accidents occurred during the Holy Week.

“So far, everything is in place. Our PCG personnel did well in their jobs and the cooperation of the public is very helpful. There are a few instances that some vessels and bancas ran aground, but the PCG managed to immediately respond,” said Tamayo in a mobile interview.

The Passenger Assistance Centers (PACs) would remain in all ports and ferry terminals all over the country to assist the riding public, Tamayo said.

“The PACs that aim to serve the needs of those riding ships on their way to celebrate the Holy Week and/ or spend their vacations in the provinces or in other maritime tourist destinations will remain there. Many passengers are returning home after the Holy Week,” said Tamayo.

Tamayo ordered the deployment of additional personnel on ports and Sea Marshals on board inter-island vessels as part of the "OPLAN: Mahal na Araw 2009."

He also ordered the deployment of additional personnel from Special Operations Group and K-9 Units.

"OPLAN: Mahal na Araw 2009" is in line with the directive of Transportation and Communications Secretary Leandro Mendoza to effect special operations and humanitarian services during passenger peak seasons.

“The essence of the security measures is to insure effective implementation of maritime security based on accurate security assessments. Ship inspectors and K-9 units are also directed to be extra vigilant in ports and conduct random checks of passengers and luggage,” Tamayo said.

“For the safety of the ship-riding public, we enjoin the public to report to proper authorities and to PCG personnel in the area or sea marshal on board ships suspicious baggage, especially those left unattended in port areas or on board ships,” said Tamayo

He also urged passengers to report vessels that were carrying passengers in excess of authorized capacity and/or those without adequate provision of life jackets and other life-saving appliances.

The PCG may be contacted thru PCG HOTLINE (02) 527-3877 and (02) 527-8481 and PCG HOT TEXT 0917-PCGDOTC or 0917-724-3682. (PNA)



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