By Betheena Kae Unite
Overcrowding and overloading will be one of the Philippine Coast Guard’s (PCG) concerns in this year’s exodus of passengers to their respective provinces for the observance of All Saints’ and Souls’ Days.
Various PCG units were deployed to different port terminals in the country Monday to ensure that overcrowding and overloading of passengers are prevented in all port terminals in the country, PCG Commandant Vice Admiral Joel Garcia said.
“I-ensure po natin na yung overcrowding and overloading ay talagang paigtingin po natin ang pagbabantay na walang overcrowding at overloading kasi alam naman po ng ating mga kababayan na ito pong overcrowding ay isa sa mga cause ng aksidente (We will ensure to intensify the watch on overcrowding and overloading because we know very well that it is one of the causes of accidents),” Garcia said after leading the send-off ceremony of the Coast Guard units to different districts.
The commandant appealed to the passengers to follow Coast Guard regulations when traveling and stop requesting to ride on a vessel after it has reached its full capacity.
“Talaga pong bawal kasi po meron tayong mga kababayan na nakikiusap na kung puwede ay pagbigyan silang makasakay. This time, pinagbibilin po namin na kung talagang hindi na kasya ‘wag na po natin ipilit na sumakay dahil ipagbabawal talaga ng Philippine Coast Guard yung sumusobra sa bilang ng mga pasehero (It is strictly prohibited because we have fellowmen who ask to still ride on the vessel even it has already reached its capacity. This time, we are strictly discouraging it, if it’s already loaded, stop trying to ride on it),” Garcia stressed.
Malasakit Help Desks have been reactivated in all port terminals in the country while all Coast Guard districts were ordered to implement and observe heightened alert to ensure the orderly operation of sea transportation facilities and safety of travelers.
As of Monday morning, a total of 29,822 outbound passengers have been monitored in ports in Central Visayas, Southern Tagalog, Western Visayas, South Eastern Mindanao, Bicol, Northern Mindanao, Eastern Visayas, and Southern Visayas.