PCG in S. Mindanao orders intensified patrols vs. illegal entry of travelers from Indonesia

Marje Pelayo   •   July 22, 2021   •   363

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) in Southern Mindanao recently ordered its station, sub-stations, floating assets, and operational control (OPCON) units to carry out intensified monitoring and regular border patrols in the region to prevent illegal entry of people from Indonesia.

The directive comes after reports of surge in Delta variant cases wreaking havoc in the said Asian country.

Indonesia was recently included by the national government in the list of countries with travel restrictions.

It shares borders with the Philippines in Southern Mindanao and its proximity poses a huge risk of virus importation.

In view of this, PCG Commandant Admiral George Ursabia Jr. directed all Coast Guard districts and units nationwide to step up monitoring of all vessels with crew or passengers who may be carriers of the COVID-19 Delta variant, most especially borders near Indonesia and Malaysia in the Southern part of the Philippines.

Meanwhile, Captain Rejard Marfe, the acting commander of PCG District Southern Mindanao, also ordered all PCG units in the region to ensure that measures are in place, in coordination with local government units and other law enforcement agencies.

640 more Delta variant cases detected in Phl

Maris Federez   •   September 13, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Philippine health authorities have detected 640 Delta (B.1.617.2) variant cases (85.6%), 28 Beta (B.1.351) variant cases (3.7%), 24 Alpha (B.1.1.7) variant cases (3.2%), and five P.3 variant cases (0.7%) in the latest batch of whole-genome sequencing of 748 samples.

In a press release on Monday, the Department of Health said that 584 of the additional 640 Delta variant cases, were local cases and 52 were returning overseas Filipinos (ROF).  Four cases are currently being verified whether they are local or ROF cases.

Based on the case line list, three cases are still active, 13 cases have died, while 624 cases have been tagged as recovered. Case details are being validated by the regional and local health offices.

The total Delta variant cases are now 2,708, the report said.

Meanwhile, of the additional 24 Alpha variant cases, 23 were local cases and one was a ROF.

Based on the case list, one case died while 23 cases have been tagged as recovered.

The total Alpha variant cases are now 2,448.

On the other hand, the additional 28 Beta variant cases were all local cases. Based on the case list, all have been tagged as recovered.

The total Beta variant cases are now 2,725.

The report further said that five additional P.3 variant cases were all local cases and have been tagged as recovered.

The DOH said these sequenced samples were submitted by 77 laboratories, collecting institutions, and different Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Units (RESU).

Meanwhile, the UP-PGC also announced that starting September 9 they have scaled down their COVID-19 RT-PCR testing services to shift their resources on the detection of COVID-19 variants through whole-genome sequencing.

The shift will lead to an expected increase in the sequencing capacity and detection of COVID-19 variant cases in the country in the succeeding months.

PCG remains on heightened alert as Typhoon Kiko threatens Northern Luzon

Robie de Guzman   •   September 10, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) remains on heightened alert to provide immediate assistance to residents who may be affected by the possible onslaught of Typhoon Kiko (international name: Chanthu).

In a statement, the PCG said it has coordinated with local government units and disaster management offices in areas that are on the direct path of ‘Kiko’.

In the 11 a.m. bulletin, the state weather bureau said ‘Kiko’ has slightly intensified as it continues to creep closer to extreme northern Luzon.

The typhoon was last spotted at 220 kilometers northeast of Casiguran, Aurora or east of Tuguegarao, Cagayan. It is packing maximum sustained winds of 195 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center, and gustiness of up to 240 kph.

Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal (TCWS) No. 3 is hoisted over the extreme northeastern portion of Cagayan and the eastern part of Babuyan Islands.

TCWS No. 2 is raised over Batanes, the rest of Babuyan Islands, the remaining eastern portion of mainland Cagayan, the northeastern portion of Isabela, and the northeastern part of Apayao.

Meanwhile, TCWS No. 1 is up over the rest of mainland Cagayan, the eastern portion of Ilocos Norte, the rest of Apayao, the northern portion of Kalinga, eastern pat of Mountain Province, the northeastern portion of Abra, the northwestern and southeastern portions of Isabela and the northern portion of Aurora.

PCG commandant Vice Admiral Leopoldo Laroya has directed the PCG District Northeastern Luzon and Northwestern Luzon to ensure that their deployable response groups and quick response teams are all-set for swift evacuation and rescue operations, most especially in flood-prone residential communities in Batanes, Cagayan, and Northern Isabela.

“We learned so much during our operations amid Typhoon Ulysses last year that left major damages in the Cagayan Valley region. Aside from training our people and increasing our assets, we also partnered with LGUs so that even ordinary citizens are equipped with basic skills in ensuring the safety of lives in times of natural calamities and emergencies,” Laroya said.

“The PCG cannot do it on its own. We need the support of our stakeholders and the general public to lessen, if not prevent, the loss of lives during typhoon season,” he added.

Major commands at the PCG National Headquarters have also been instructed to prepare their assets and preposition their teams to immediately assist districts that may need augmentation.

PCG personnel of concerned Coast Guard districts have also reminded fishermen and other mariners to avoid venturing the sea during inclement weather conditions for their safety.

This is following reports of distressed fishermen in the Western and Eastern Visayas regions after residents went on fishing ventures despite the suspension due to Tropical Storm Jolina.

“Nauunawaan natin ang ating mga kababayan na sinusuong ang sama ng panahon para may makain ang kanilang pamilya,” Laroya said.

“Pero, hiling po namin ay iprayoridad ng ating mga mangingisda ang kanilang kaligtasan dahil sa oras na may kapahamakang mangyari sa kanila sa gitna ng dagat, ay lalong hihirap ang sitwasyon ng maiiwan nilang pamilya,” he added.

The PCG Auxiliary (PCGA) has also been alerted to prepare for relief operations and other humanitarian missions in areas that will be most affected by the typhoon, the agency said.

Typhoon Kiko is seen to bring heavy to intense rains in parts of Cagayan, Ilocos, Cordillera Administrative Region, Aurora and Cagayan Valley which may trigger flooding and landslides in areas susceptible to these hazards.

PCG deploys teams to help in evacuation, rescue ops amid onslaught of ‘Jolina’

Robie de Guzman   •   September 8, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on Wednesday said its District NCR-Central Luzon has activated its deployable response groups to support local government units in the possible conduct of evacuation and rescue operations amid the onslaught of Severe Tropical Storm Jolina.

In a statement, PCG District NCR – Central Luzon commander Commodore Charlie Rances said all their search and rescue equipment and mobility assets are operational and serviceable for possible augmentation.

PCG stations and sub-stations have also been placed on heightened alert status and are continuously conducting precautionary measures to ensure the safety of the residents.

Some residents in the provinces of Quezon, Laguna, and parts of Western and Eastern Visayas regions have been evacuated due to heavy rains and flooding brought about by Jolina.

As of 8 a.m. Wednesday, the PCG said it has monitored a total of 742 stranded passengers, drivers, and cargo helpers in various ports in Bicol, Southern Tagalog, and Western Visayas Regions.

Around 15 vessels, 358 rolling cargoes, and 10 motorbancas, were also reported stranded in the said areas while 52 vessels and 52 motorbancas are taking shelter as Jolina continues to move over Batangas.

The state weather bureau, in its 11 a.m. bulletin, said that Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal (TCWS) No. 2 was raised over 15 areas as Jolina maintained its strength.

These areas include:

  • Marinduque
  • the northern and central portions of Oriental Mindoro (Bansud, Gloria, Pinamalayan, Pola, Socorro, Victoria, Puerto Galera, San Teodoro, Baco, City of Calapan, Naujan)
  • the northern and central portions of Occidental Mindoro (Abra de Ilog, Paluan, Mamburao, Santa Cruz, Sablayan)
  • Lubang Islands
  • the central and southern portions of Quezon (General Luna, Macalelon, Sampaloc, Unisan, Pagbilao, Sariaya, Alabat, Pitogo, City of Tayabas, Padre Burgos, Lucban, Gumaca, Agdangan, Plaridel, San Antonio, Candelaria, Atimonan, Quezon, Tiaong, Mauban, Perez, Lucena City, Dolores, Real, Infanta)
  • Batangas
  • Cavite
  • Laguna
  • Rizal
  • Metro Manila
  • the southern portion of Bulacan (Pandi, Bulacan, Marilao, Calumpit, Norzagaray, Plaridel, Santa Maria, Balagtas, Bocaue, Bustos, City of Malolos, Angat, Obando, City of San Jose del Monte, Pulilan, City of Meycauayan, Hagonoy, Paombong, Guiguinto, San Rafael, Baliuag)
  • Pampanga
  • Bataan
  • Zambales
  • Tarlac

 

TCWS no. 1 was raised over the following areas:

 

  • La Union;
  • the southern portion of Benguet (Sablan, Tublay, Bokod, La Trinidad, Baguio City, Itogon, Tuba, Kapangan, Atok);
  • the southern portion of Nueva Vizcaya (Alfonso Castaneda, Dupax del Norte, Dupax del Sur, Aritao, Santa Fe, Kayapa);
  • the southern portion of Aurora (Baler, Maria Aurora, San Luis, Dingalan);
  • Pangasinan;
  • Nueva Ecija;
  • the rest of Bulacan;
  • the rest of Quezon including Polillo Islands;
  • Camarines Norte;
  • the western portion of Camarines Sur (Ragay, Del Gallego, Lupi, Sipocot, Cabusao, Libmanan, Pasacao, Pamplona);
  • the western portion of Romblon (Odiongan, Romblon, Banton, Santa Maria, Concepcion, San Andres, San Jose, Looc, Ferrol, Alcantara, San Agustin, Calatrava, Corcuera, Santa Fe);
  • the rest of Oriental Mindoro; and
  • and the rest of Occidental Mindoro

PAGASA reported that Jolina made landfall over San Juan, Batangas at 9 a.m.

Afterwards, the tropical cyclone is expected to cross the Batangas-Cavite area before emerging over the mouth of Manila Bay this Wednesday afternoon or evening.

“This will be followed by another landfall in the vicinity of Bataan Peninsula. Frictional effects during its traverse of mainland Luzon will weaken ‘JOLINA’ down to tropical storm category,” PAGASA said.

Jolina is seen to emerge over the West Philippine Sea on Wednesday night or Thursday morning.

The tropical cyclone is forecast to exit the Philippine Area of Responsibility on tomorrow evening or Friday early morning.

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