The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) will be on heightened alert beginning Friday until Nov. 5 for the upcoming Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections and All Souls’ and All Saints’ Days.
In a statement Tuesday, PCG commandant Admiral Ronnie Gavan instructed PCG districts, stations and substations to intensify security and safety measures in all ports.
“Rest assured, we will ensure maritime security and safety in our western and eastern seaboards, including inter-island routes. Our deployable response groups and the PCG Auxiliary will be ready for these operations,” Gavan said.
The measure, he said, seeks to ensure the orderly operations of sea transport facilities, convenient sea travel, security of tourists, as well as peaceful elections.
PCG personnel and K9 units will inspect election precincts, patrol maritime tourist destinations and augment lifeguards and first responders in tourist destinations.
“We conduct the 24/7 monitoring of nautical highways routes, especially in the Visayas where most tourist destinations are,” he said.
Ports in the western seaboard such as Batangas, Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Aklan, Iloilo and Zamboanga regions will be monitored, he added.
Monitoring in the eastern seaboard will cover Manila, Bicol Region, Samar, Leyte and Surigao provinces.
He called on PCG personnel to be vigilant in inspecting passengers and luggage, and to have medical teams ready to assist during emergencies.
“We will have safety inspectors in port terminals, law enforcement teams in strategic election locations, patrol teams in critical vicinity waters, and deployable response groups on standby for possible election security augmentations and rescue missions,” he added.
The Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections will be held on Oct. 30, a special non-working holiday.
It is followed by All Souls’ Day on Nov. 1 and All Saints’ Day on Nov. 2 –both special non-working holidays.
Earlier, Malacañang announced there are no plans to declare Oct. 31 a non-working holiday. (PNA)