A total of 108 personnel of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary (PCGA) were deployed on Saturday to ensure the safe travel of tourists taking part in Guimaras’ Manggahan Festival.
Lt. Col. Rodolfo dela Peña, PCG-Iloilo commander, said 68 coast guard personnel and 40 auxiliaries are posted in the Jordan and Buenavista wharfs in Guimaras and the Parolla wharf in this city.
“Our personnel and auxiliaries are now ready to assist passengers and respond to any incident. We have seen that the passengers started to grow in number today,” dela Peña said in a phone interview.
Two aluminum boats and two patrol craft of the PCG were also already deployed, he added.
Due to strong waves, the Ortiz wharf will be temporarily closed. Thus, boat travel for both Jordan and Buenavista Guimaras will take off from the Parolla wharf.
The PCG commander assured that passengers were informed accordingly. Operations at Ortiz wharf will resume depending on sea condition, he said.
Tourists for the Manggahan Festival should not worry as motorized bancas plying Iloilo and Guimaras are all seaworthy.
Dela Peña said they have conducted follow-up inspections on the motorized bancas after the Holy Week to ensure that all of these have complied with the Safety of Life at Sea Equipment.
The motorized bancas during the Holy Week were given stickers to prove that they have complied with safety requirements.
Dela Peña sought the cooperation and patience of passengers. “Compared to normal days, the number of passengers will increase during the Manggahan and so we ask the public to be patient, especially in lining up in our wharfs,” he said.
The 2019 Manggahan Festival theme is “Matam-is nga Kadalag-an: Manggahan Festival to the World”.
“Imbukada”, an opening program, was held on Saturday, May 11.PNA