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Coast Guard tightens security in ports for Holy Week, summer

MANILA, Philippines — To prepare for influx of passengers during the Holy Week and summer vacation season, vessels and the response groups have been deployed for in ports across the country, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said Tuesday.

According to the PCG, a send-off ceremony for vessels and Deployable Response Groups (DRGs) was held on Monday, marking the start of its heightened efforts for secure Filipinos traveling to their home provinces.

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The PCG commandant, Adm. Elson E Hermogino, instructed PCG units to inspect passengers’ luggage and ensure security in all ports nationwide.

PCG units were also directed to closely monitor maritime activities and to ensure that transport vessels are complying with maritime rules, including the availability lifesaving equipment and securing of documentary requirements for safe travel.

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Hermogino also instructed PCG units to tighten mandatory pre-departure inspections of transport vessels and ensure that the vessels are not overloading.

“All PCG Districts nationwide have corresponding K9 teams, special operations forces, harbor patrollers, and ship inspectors stationed in ports, directed to exercise extra vigilance in inspecting passengers and luggage to ascertain travel safety and security with medical teams ready to provide assistance in emergency cases,” the PCG said in a statement.

PCG said the Department of Transportation had also set up in all major seaports nationwide Malasakit Help Desks where passengers could ask for assistance and file complaints.

“This is part of the directives of the Department of Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade in order to provide comfortable and safe transport to all seagoing public who are expected to travel to and from their respective provinces and to different beach resorts and tourist destinations across the nation,” the PCG said.

/atm

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