With 94 new COVID-19 cases, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), through the Task Force Kalinga, has partnered with the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) to ensure unhampered relief transport mission through the availment of modern mechanized port handling services at port hubs to reduce PCG personnel’s exposure to COVID-19 in doing manual hauling of relief goods to and from Coast Guard ships.

This is in furtherance of the Department of Transportation - Philippines (DOTr)’s unflinching resolve to sustain relief efforts to help better the lives of Filipinos in recovering regions despite the prevailing COVID-19 surge.

As of yesterday, 07 January 2021, a total of 94 PCG personnel have tested positive from COVID-19, majority of whom are members of the Task Force Kalinga and crew members of Coast Guard ships. They were safely transported to the PCG Quarantine Facility at the Coast Guard Base Taguig for medical assistance.

Hence, CG Rear Admiral Ronnie Gil L Gavan, Task Force Kalinga Commander, requested the PPA to help on cargo operations to ensure the unhampered relief transport mission.

PCG Commandant, CG Admiral Leopoldo V Laroya expressed his sincere gratitude to PPA General Manager, Atty. Jay Daniel R. Santiago for stepping in to fill the gaps and for partnering with the PCG to ensure continued humanitarian assistance and disaster response operations for the benefit of the affected families who are slowly recovering from the onslaught of Typhoon #OdettePH.

“Our collaboration with the PPA has always been anchored on mutual respect and generosity, allowing us to work great as one team. Our men and women maintain a good working relationship with port personnel and this current initiative will allow our PCG frontline personnel to be less exposed on health risks brought about by the COVID-19 surge,” CG Admiral Laroya expressed.

Moreover, the Coast Guard Commandant said the PCG – PPA partnership on relief transport mission will help minimize chances of the crew of Coast Guard ships who come from Manila, the epicenter of the prevailing surge, to become possible spreaders of the contagious virus.

As of yesterday, PCG vessels and air assets have transported a total of 1,218.4 tons of relief goods. PCG Auxiliary (PCGA) aircraft and private vessels that are part of the said mission have ferried 593.5 tons of supplies, bringing the tally to 1,811.9 tons of transported relief goods and critical supplies to support the rehabilitation of the affected families of Typhoon Odette. 

As per the directive of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, the PCG, through the Task Force Kalinga, continues to utilize its available assets and resources to help in the recovery of typhoon-stricken regions including MiMaRoPa, Western Visayas, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, and Caraga.