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PCG: The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Commandant, Admiral Elson E Hermogino has activated its “Oplan Kahandaan: Typhoon Season” and directed all Coast Guard units nationwide to be prepared and initiate proactive measures to prevent/minimize loss of lives and properties from maritime and land-based accidents in anticipation to the onset of rainy season this year.

The weather bureau, Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) has already declared the end of summer season. As such, flooding and other natural disasters that will be brought by storms, typhoons and tropical depressions are expected to be prevalent in the country’s area of responsibility in the coming months.

Admiral Hermogino said that all rescue units nationwide such as disaster response and quick reaction teams composed of divers, rescue swimmers, paramedics and K-9 units should be on alert level of readiness to respond immediately to maritime and land-based disasters caused by weather disturbances and typhoons.

He also emphasized the importance of conducting extra vigilance in undertaking maritime safety related measures such as intensifying inspection of ships prior departure, ensuring vessels to have no unauthorized passengers in conformance in the allowed passenger capacity onboard to avoid overloading of vessels; checking of life jackets, fire-fighting equipment; to strengthen its public awareness campaign to highlight safety during inclement weather especially to the fishing community; and non-patronage of colorum inter-island watercrafts.

Likewise, the Commandant called on the PCG's Auxiliary volunteers to actively involve their units and equipment during rescue operations as part of the Coast Guard force.

All Coast Guard units nationwide are also tasked to coordinate and encourage operational cooperation with other government agencies like the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police, Philippine Red Cross and National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council to ensure community safety.