The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) supports efforts to address congestion at Matnog Port, Sorsogon.
During the Anti-Red Tape Act (ARTA) Logistics Forum 2022 on 29 November 2022, PCG Officer-in-Charge, CG Vice Admiral Rolando Lizor Punzalan Jr, signed the Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) on implementing measures to reduce congestion in the queuing, marshalling, loading, and embarkation of passengers and rolling cargoes at Matnog Port.
Concerned government agencies jointly expressed their commitment to ensure the efficient delivery of government services at Matnog Port and address rampant fixing activities in the immediate vicinity of the port.
As a signatory to the said JMC, the PCG shall strictly enforce that no vessel of any type or tonnage shall be allowed to sail except to take shelter, as the situation may warrant when Public Storm Warning Signal (PSWS) Number 1 or higher is hoisted within its point of origin, the intended route, and/or point of destination.
The PCG shall also be the last to board the vessel and conduct a Pre-Departure Inspection (PDI) before departure to enforce compliance with safety standards and applicable rules and regulations. Coast Guard personnel shall inspect vehicles onboard or about to board the vessel.
Moreover, the PCG shall make sure that all shipowners/masters strictly observe the advisory on the three-hour-port-stay rule of vessels.
According to the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), Matnog Port is an essential jump-off port from Luzon to Visayas and Mindanao.
However, it experiences ship and cargo congestion, which affects passengers, truck drivers, vehicle owners, and other maritime stakeholders who avail of the services at the port.
The JMC applies to all responsible officials of Anti-Red Tape Authority, Department of Transportation, PPA, PCG, Maritime Industry Authority, Philippine National Police, Land Transportation Office - Philippines, Civil Defense PH, Provincial Government of Sorsogon, and Municipal Government of Matnog.
It also applies to truckers and other rolling cargoes, vehicle owners, passengers, and other stakeholders who avail of services at Matnog Port. Hence, they are enjoined to support the whole-of-nation approach toward resolving problems and issues around the port.
To conclude the ARTA Logistics Forum 2022, the concerned officials also signed the "pledge of commitment" to promoting ease of doing business and efficient delivery of government service in the country.