By Raymund Antonio
The multirole response vessel of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) arrived today in Caticlan, Aklan in time for the six-month closure of Boracay Island for its cleanup and rehabilitation.
PCG sent BRP Cabra (MRRV 4409) to conduct maritime patrols for the duration of the closure of the world-famous tourist island that will start on April 26, Thursday.
Capt. Armand Balilo, spokesman of PCG, said BRP Cabra arrived in Caticlan, with personnel from the agency’s Marine Environmental Protection Command, Special Operations Force, and Civil Relations Service onboard.
“The group is set to conduct maritime security patrols and marine environmental proceedings in preparation for the six-month rehabilitation of Boracay,” Balilo said in Filipino.
In anticipation of the island’s closure, the Coast Guard also deployed BRP Davao Del Norte, a search and rescue vessel, on April 18 to patrol in different parts of the area.
Aside from the two ships, PCG sent its other maritime assets such as speed boat, aluminum and rubber boat to the popular beach destination.
PCG personnel from its Caticlan Station and Boracay Substation as well as the SOF Quick Response Team will be in place to secure the island during the rehabilitation work.
Balilo said they will participate in the interagency capability demonstration to be held on Wednesday to strengthen their capacities to respond to fire incidents, rallies, attacks and other emergency situations.
Meanwhile, the Science Technical Team from PCG’s MEMCOM has coordinated with the Environmental Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for the monitoring of the quality of Boracay’s coastal waters.
They are set to conduct water quality tests in the island and lead the transfer of petroleum products from Caticlan to Boracay.
Balilo said the CRS deployed personnel in the country’s best known island resort to assess various possible programs for coral reef rehabilitation, medical mission and psychosocial engagements, with the help of PCG Auxiliary.