By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) in Negros Occidental is expected to be placed on “heightened alert” status starting this week as part of the preparations for the influx of travelers for the holiday season.
Captain Ludovico Librilla, deputy commander of Coast Guard District Western Visayas (CGDWV) and station commander of the PCG in Negros Occidental, said all of their personnel have already been given the directives to fully implement all safety and security protocols in various ports of Negros Occidental.
Librilla said they will deploy the same number of personnel from last year, adding that at the moment, they do not have any additional personnel coming from the CGDWV.
PCG personnel guarding the ports were ordered to conduct regular pre-departure inspections of all vessels making sure that COVID-19 health protocols are strictly observed.
Librilla also reminded travelers to make sure to secure the necessary travel documents such as vaccine cards/certificates for vaccinated individuals, or a negative RT-PCR test result for unvaccinated travelers.
He also advised travelers to avoid bringing prohibited items such as firecrackers or pyrotechnics, firearms, and any sharp objects.
Travelers are further advised to regularly check the weather prior to their scheduled trip, as the coast guard can call for a suspension of sea trips if the weather condition is not favorable for safe sea travel./DGB, WDJ