MANILA The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on Thursday warned passengers to avoid patronizing "fly by night" or "colorum" (unregistered) motor bancas during the Christmas season.
In a statement, PCG Commandant Elson Hermogino said riding on "colorum" motor bancas endangers passengers' lives and security because they are not complying with maritime safety standards set by the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA).
Sinasamantala ng may-ari at operator ng mga bangka ang pagdagsa ng pasahero sa iba't-ibang port at terminal sa mga probinsya, lalo na sa mga major tourist spots kung saan hindi na natutugunan ng mga major shipping lines ang bilang ng mga dumadagsang pasahero sa mga pantalan sa buong bansa (Owners and operators of bancas are taking advantage of the influx of passengers in different ports and terminals at the provinces, especially in major tourist spots wherein major shipping lines are unable to address the number of passengers going to ports across the country), Hermogino said.
He also said the agency will apprehend illegally operating sea vessels because most of them do not provide passenger insurance, as well as life vests and lifesaving devices.
Earlier, the PCG said all its operating units nationwide are on full alert in preparation for the expected passenger exodus during the holidays.
The PCG will conduct pre-departure inspections in seaports to ensure that sea vessels will only board passengers in accordance with its capacity. It will also monitor ports in various areas that have significant increases in the number of passengers during the holiday season, such as Cebu, Batangas, Iloilo, Bicol, and Zamboanga. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency