In the wake of tropical depression, #VickyPH, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) has ramped up its preparations to ensure that all deployable response groups (DRGs) in affected areas are ready for evacuation and relief operations, in coordination with local government units (LGUs) and respective Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Offices (MDRRMOs).
Admiral George V. Ursabia Jr., PCG Commandant, has directed concerned district commanders to issue maritime safety advisories to shipping operators whose routes have been directly harmed by the ongoing weather disturbance, particularly in the Southern Visayas, Central Visayas, Western Visayas, Eastern Visayas, North Eastern Mindanao, and Northern Mindanao, where the PCG Command Center has monitored a total of 1,382 passengers, drivers, and cargo helpers; 59 vessels; nine motorbancas; and 524 rolling cargoes stranded as of 4:00 AM today, December 19, 2020.
Furthermore, local fisherman have been advised by Coast Guard Sub-Stations in impacted areas to closely observe instructions during strong weather for their own safety.
“Our local fishermen are slowly returning to their normal operations that were significantly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and recent typhoons. Hence, we have to work side by side with them so we may prevent the further loss of lives and properties, without compromising their opportunities to feed their growing families,” Admiral Ursabia said.
Meanwhile, Coast Guard units in areas not directly affected by the recent tropical depression have been ordered to strictly enforce vessel safety and security protocols in managing the influx of passengers, particularly short-distance and inter-island travel, as Filipinos brave public transportation despite the risks to be with their families this Christmas season.
To promote orderly, safe, and secure maritime travel, safety inspectors and security officials have increased luggage checks among locally stranded individuals (LSIs), authorized persons outside residence (APORs), and returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs).
Finally, the PCG works closely with the PCG Auxiliary in the preparation of necessary food provisions and relief supplies to guarantee that humanitarian aid and disaster response operations reach the most impacted populations as soon as weather permits.
“The massive scale of destruction brought about by Super Typhoon Rolly and Typhoon Ulysses prompted us to train harder, organize further, and be equip better so, with God’s guidance and protection, we can further contribute in timely and appropriate collective disaster response efforts that our distressed kababayans so deserve,” Admiral Ursabia exhorted.