PCG on alert until January 8 – DOTr

Evelyn Macairan - The Philippine Star
PCG on alert until January 8 � DOTr
Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista and Philippine Coast Guard chief Ronnie Gil Gavan (left) inspect the firearms and other assets used by PCG personnel patrolling ports, at the PCG headquarters in Manila yesterday.
Edd Gumban

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) will remain on heightened alert until Jan. 8 next year to strengthen security during the holidays and following the explosion at the Mindanao State University gymnasium in Marawi City, according to the Department of Transportation (DOTr).

“We are prepared for any eventuality. We have personnel who are trained (for terrorist activities), we have bomb experts and equipment,” Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista said yesterday.

“As always during this holiday season, we are expecting a surge of passengers who will pass through airports, seaports and bus stations. We expect more travelers, considering that we have recovered from the pandemic. Compared to our 2019 figures, it might be five to 10 percent higher,” he added.

The PCG is an attached agency of the DOTr.

Bautista said all PCG units would be deployed starting Dec. 15 as they are targeting “zero maritime incidents.”

PCG Commandant Admiral Ronnie Gil Gavan earlier said coast guard personnel would not be allowed to go on leave during the Christmas season.

Bautista also inspected yesterday the personnel and equipment to be used during the heightened alert, including a helicopter, small boats, Explosives Ordnance Division and K9 teams that would patrol seaports.

“I expect Coast Guard security groups and medical teams to always be ready to serve sea passengers who might need assistance through Malasakit help desks in various ports,” he said.            

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