Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Officer-In-Charge, CG Vice Admiral Eduardo D Fabricante has directed all Coast Guard units to prepare for the anticipated increase in maritime-related activities, following the downgrading of COVID-19 alert level to “Alert Level 1” in the National Capital Region (NCR) and lighter travel restrictions in other parts of the country starting tomorrow, 01 March 2022.

CG Vice Admiral Fabricante ordered operating units to ensure the readiness of personnel and assets for maritime safety and maritime security-related functions.

“Our floating assets and equipment must be at the highest level of preparedness to respond properly to possible emergencies at sea,” the PCG Officer-in-Charge said.

Moreover, the PCG will dispatch additional K9 units, medical teams, and deployable response groups on major seaports to increase Coast Guard visibility, manage port passengers, and oversee maritime traffic as the passenger capacity for the maritime transport operating in and out of Alert Levels 1 areas will now be at 100%, according to the IATF’s amended guidelines issued yesterday, 27 February 2022.

Harbor patrollers and vessel inspectors will also be deployed to aid in the enforcement of maritime security and maritime safety measures in coordination with local government units and other concerned agencies.

“I have instructed concerned District Commanders to augment personnel and operational requirements of PCG stations in major seaports and tourists destinations, including Boracay, Palawan, Cebu, and Bohol, as well as other provinces with popular island resorts and coastal vacation spots. This is to establish and maintain systematized operations of sea transport facilities; promote safe and convenient travel; and uphold the health, safety, and security of tourists and the general public,” CG Vice Admiral Fabricante added.

Furthermore, the PCG shall necessitate the 24/7 availability of a sufficient number of lifeguards, rescue equipment, and first aid facilities, specifically in top tourist destinations. Help desks in major seaport terminals will also be activated to provide necessary assistance to port passengers and ensure their compliance with minimum public health standards, such as the mandatory wearing of face masks and presentation of vaccination cards. 

“Rest assured, your PCG will enforce regulations for the promotion of safety of life and property at sea, for our general public’s safety and security at ports and harbors, as well as at our coastal recreational facilities,” the PCG Officer-in-Charge furthered.