The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) remains on heightened alert to provide necessary assistance to local government units (LGUs) and Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Offices (MDRRMOs) as Typhoon #KikoPH maintains its strength and continues to cause heavy rains in Northern Luzon.

PCG Commandant, CG Vice Admiral Leopoldo V Laroya has directed the PCG District Northeastern Luzon and Northwestern Luzon to ensure that their deployable response groups (DRGs) and Quick Response Teams (QRTs) are all-set for swift evacuation and rescue operations, most especially in flood-prone residential communities in Batanes, Cagayan, and Northern Isabela.

“We learned so much during our operations amid Typhoon Ulysses last year that left major damages in the Cagayan Valley region. Aside from training our people and increasing our assets, we also partnered with LGUs so that even ordinary citizens are equipped with basic skills in ensuring the safety of lives in times of natural calamities and emergencies,” CG Vice Admiral Laroya said.

“The PCG cannot do it on its own. We need the support of our stakeholders and the general public to lessen, if not prevent, the loss of lives during typhoon season,” the Coast Guard Commandant added.

Furthermore, major Commands at the PCG National Headquarters have also been instructed to prepare their assets and preposition their DRGs and QRTs to immediately assist districts that may need augmentation.

Moreover, PCG personnel of concerned Coast Guard districts have been constantly reminding fishermen and other mariners to avoid venturing the sea during inclement weather conditions for their safety. This, following reports of distressed fishermen in the Western and Eastern Visayas regions after residents went on fishing ventures despite the early suspension of fishing and shipping operations amid #JolinaPH.

“Nauunawaan natin ang ating mga kababayan na sinusuong ang sama ng panahon para may makain ang kanilang pamilya. Lalo pa ngayong pandemya, nauunawan natin ang kanilang pangangailangan na patuloy na magtrabaho at kumita,” CG Vice Admiral Laroya expressed.

“Pero, hiling po namin ay iprayoridad ng ating mga mangingisda ang kanilang kaligtasan dahil sa oras na may kapahamakang mangyari sa kanila sa gitna ng dagat, ay lalong hihirap ang sitwasyon ng maiiwan nilang pamilya," the Coast Guard Commandant furthered.

"Kaagapay po natin ang LGU para magbigay-tulong sa panahong ito. Nawa ay makiisa ang lahat sa layon nating makamit ang ‘zero maritime casualty’ sa kabila ng napipintong pananalasa ng Bagyong Kiko. Dalangin po namin ang kaligtasan ng lahat,” he concluded.

The PCG actively works with the concerned Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Councils (PDRRMCs), Armed Force of the Philippines (AFP), Philippine National Police (PNP), and other rescue units and volunteer organizations to provide needed public service in this time of calamity.

Meanwhile, the PCG Auxiliary (PCGA) has also been alerted to prepare for relief operations and other humanitarian missions in areas that will be most affected by the typhoon.