By Raymond Carl Dela Cruz

SAFETY FIRST. A Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) personnel inspects the North Port Passenger Terminal in Tondo, Manila on Oct. 27, 2023. The PCG will again intensify security operations in ports, harbors, and waterways during the holidays to ensure the safety of the public amid the expected influx of travelers. (PNA photo by Yancy Lim) 

MANILA – The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) will boost security in the country’s ports, harbors and waterways during the holiday season in response to the expected increase in travelers and cargos.

PCG chief Admiral Ronnie Gil Gavan directed 15 PCG districts to reinforce their presence with the goal of achieving “zero maritime crime” and provide the public with “convenient, comfortable and safe” sea travels during the holiday break, according to a news release on Tuesday.

“We are expanding our efforts to ensure maritime security and public safety and lessen, if not completely eradicate, maritime crimes amid the increasing maritime traffic and sea transport operations this upcoming holiday season,” Gavan said.

Over 30,000 personnel from the PCG and the Department of Transportation’s (DOTr) maritime sector will be on duty during the holidays.

“The PCG’s maritime security teams, composed of sea marshals, K9 units, seaborne patrols units, and intelligence operatives, must be in a high state of readiness and respond promptly to any incident that may occur during the holiday season,” Gavan said.

Meanwhile, a robbery incident was reported Sunday in the vicinity waters off the Manila International Container Terminal at the Manila Bay Anchorage Area.

Initial investigation showed that safety gears and other essential vessel equipment were stolen on board the vessels M/V G Crown and M/V Hansa Colombo. (PNA)