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PIA Press Release
2008/07/08

PCG Davao strict on new guidelines

By Mai Gevera

Davao City (8 July) -- After the MV Princess of the Stars capsized off Sibuyan Island in Romblon, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) immediately tightened policies and followed new guidelines ordered by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Ens. Charles Habuyo of the PCG announced during the Kapihan sa PIA that the national agency is firm in implementing the new order that bans vessels from sailing when there is a typhoon signal.

"The guidelines stressed that when typhoon number 1 is raised over the ship's port of origin, route, or destination, the PCG has the right to put the vessel on hold," said Habuyo.

This early, the PCG expects negative reaction from the business sector especially shipping lines which business interest would be highly affected. Data showed that the shipping industry ferries about 47 million passengers annually and carries about 73 million metric tons of cargo annually.

However, PCG Davao would simply follow any recent directive that reaches the Davao City station, said Habuyo.

What the PCG is also focusing on right now is the maritime advisory that is not just to benefit big shipping lines but also small vessels which according to the PCG got the most maritime accidents and violations.

Habuyo announced that PCG Davao has partnered with media stations where they directly transfer any information regarding the weather, current, and wave details necessary to prevent any accident to happen while on sail.

"We encourage the public to make use of this hourly logbook of weather monitoring conducted by PCG which we regularly disseminate to all media stations." he said. (PIA) [top]

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