COAST GUARD SORSOGON SETS UP DOTC PASSENGER ASSISTANCE CENTERS IN MAJOR PORTS
SORSOGON PROVINCE (October 31) – The Coast Guard Station Sorsogon (CGS) along with the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) and Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) activated on October 28 until November 4, 2009 the Passenger Assistance Centers (PACs) in ports of Matnog, Pilar and Bulan, the province’s major ports.
“This is in line with the observance of All Saints’ and All Soul’s Day on Nov 1-2, this year, wherein the Department of Transportation and Communication – Philippine Coast Guard (DOTC-PCG) under its eagle-eye program “Oplan Kaluluwa 2009” would like to ensure an orderly, safe, convenient and secured sea travel of sea faring passengers through the major ports in the province,” said PCG Sorsogon Station Commander LtJG Ronnie T. Ong, Jr. in a press statement.
“CGS Sorsogon is working closely with local Philippine National Police (PNP), Armed forces of the Philippines (AFP) and shipping companies to emphasize integrated commitment to security and safety in water transport service by improving and enforcing safety standards and regulations such as inspection of baggage and implementation of security layers in the ports and passenger terminals to prevent hostile elements from perpetrating terrorist acts and likewise, to ensure no overloading of passengers,” Ong stressed out.
The PCG Special Operations Unit and K-9 Unit personnel are also placed on full alert status to implement stringent security in the ports to preclude any safety and security breach as well as protect vessel and the riding public.
Said personnel are likewise placed on standby status for immediate response to any maritime incidents.
K-9 Unit personnel are also tasked to conduct pre-departure inspection to baggage and cargoes for possible entry of illegal contrabands aboard ships.
Ong also explained that the center will have information/assistance and complaint desks where passengers could simply and easily ask for assistance and lodge their complaints related to their sea travel needs.
“Said PACs which are manned by a minimum of six personnel from PCG, PPA, MARINA and volunteers are strategically situated in areas accessible to the passengers. Personnel are detailed on a 24-hour basis with three shifts at four hours per shift daily or as practicable and necessary,” said Ong.
“PAC will also act as facilitators on the requests and complaints of the seafaring public to refer matters on hand to the office and/or shipping/boat operators concerned,” he further said. (RTOng, PCG Sorsogon/PIA Sorsogon)