HOLY WEEK RUSH PCG warns ships vs overloading
MANILA – Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) commandant Vice Admiral Rodolfo Isorena warned shipping companies against overloading as the Holy Week rush intensifies.
He made this statement following an inspection at the Manila North Harbor, the docking facility for domestic shipping lines.
Isorena said ships carrying more than the maximum number of passengers will be meted stiff penalties and sanctions.
He also urged passengers to report cases of overloading to the nearest Coast Guard detachment so that appropriate action can be taken.
Earlier, PCG spokesperson Armand Balilo also advised seagoing passengers to be in their respective ports of departure three hours ahead of their departure time to avoid missing their voyage and properly submit themselves to security checks.
Also, the Coast Guard said it is deploying sea marshals aboard passenger ships, and K-9 units in ports to sniff explosives, drugs and contraband as an additional safety measure.
Meanwhile, the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) has its “Oplan Ligtas Biyahe” to address the concerns of passengers.
“We coordinate and supervise heightened efforts to tighten security over passengers, goods and transport facilities; improve convenience of their travel experience given the heightened volume of travelers; and enhance response capability to emergencies," said DOTC spokesman Michael Sagcang.
DOTC’s responsive measures include the adding of presence of roving personnel at airports, ports, highways, and terminals; putting up public assistance and first aid desks; and increasing simple but necessary facilities such as charging stations and seats.
To ensure compliance on safety measure, DOTC, together with other concerned authorities, has been conducting both scheduled and unscheduled inspections to different terminals in the country. (PNA)