PCG rescues stranded residents amid heavy flooding in Palawan

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 16, 2021   •   163

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) assisted in the rescue of 50 residents in El Nido, Palawan amid flooding.

Barangay Manlag, El Nido, Palawan was submerged in floodwater, following torrential rainfall that started at around 7:00 p.m. on Thursday (July 15). The PCG rescued a total of 50 residents, including two infants.

PCG District Palawan Commander, Commodore Genito Basilio said he immediately deployed personnel and assets to assist the local government units of El Nido and other concerned government agencies in ensuring the safety of affected residents.

“Despite our pressing mandate and firm commitment to ensure maritime security and maritime safety in the West Philippine Sea and the Kalayaan Island Group, rest assured the PCG District Palawan and Coast Guard vessels under the Task Force Pagsasanay will always be there to render humanitarian assistance to the people of Palawan,” he said.

The PCG also dispatched personnel to assist rescue and evacuation efforts in Barangay Pasadeña, Barangay Barotuan, and Barangay Libertad. It also assisted a motorbanca who experienced engine trouble during the heavy rainfall.

As of July 16, majority of the rescued residents were able to return to their homes after floodwater subsided in El Nido. AAC

Garbage still main cause of flooding in NCR — MMDA

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Garbage is still the main cause of flooding in the National Capital Region (NCR), according to the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).

MMDA Chairman Benhur Abalos Jr. reported there are low areas in the NCR that are prone to flooding but other areas have clogged drainages due to wastes.

He also said that the MMDA is repairing and declogging the pumping stations for the flood water to go to Pasig River.

Sa ngayon ay ginagawa natin ang mga pumping station para i-pump out ang mga tubig na bumabaha. Pero paano mo ipa-pump out kung talagang heavy ang siltation, barado dahil sa basura” he said.

(Presently, we are repairing the pumping stations to pump out the floodwater. But how will you pump it out if there is heavy siltation and it’s clogged due to the garbage.)

In San Andres Pumping Station, around 8 to 10 cubic meters of garbage are collected per day during the rainy season.

The MMDA reminds the public to avoid throwing garbage on the streets. -AAC (with reports from Asher Cadapan Jr.) 

AFP, PNP, PCG ink deal to boost operations vs terrorism, insurgency

Robie de Guzman   •   July 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the Philippine National Police (PNP), and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on Friday signed a tripartite accord that seeks to further enhance interoperability during internal and external security operations.

In a statement, the PNP said the tripartite mechanism was officially adopted by the three agencies through Resolution Nr. 11-2021 which included the PCG in the Joint Peace and Security Coordinating Center (JPSCC).

The move is in line with the government’s ‘whole-of-nation’ approach towards peace and security; engaging the PNP, AFP, and PCG to work together in keeping the country safe and secure.

AFP Chief of Staff General Cirilito Sobejana, PNP chief General Guillermo Eleazar, and PCG commandant Admiral George Ursabia Jr. will serve as co-chairs of the National JPSCC.

As a new JPSCC member agency, the PCG will play a vital role in forming various concepts of operations that will address the country’s complex and evolving maritime threats.

“We look forward to future collaborative efforts among agency members in terms of maritime safety and security, maritime law enforcement, and the protection of the country’s marine environment,” Sobejana said in the same statement.

“The present challenges offer a great opportunity for us to enhance our coordination and interoperability. This has been a journey built from the ground by men in uniform service who selflessly serve for years and further stimulated and sustained at the policy side. For the PCG Team, we are so fortunate today that we are here to solidify the PCG as the third arm service in our lifetime,” Ursabia said.

Aside from the joint accord, the three agency heads also signed the JPSCC Letter Directive Nr. 03-2021, which called for the reorganization of the JPSCC.

In the revised structure, the National JPSCC will now be headed by the PNP Chief, AFP Chief, and PCG Commandant while PNP Directors for Integrated Police Operation, AFP Unified Commanders, and PCG Area Commanders will exercise supervision over the Regional and Provincial JPSCCs.

The accord also stipulates that cooperation and coordination among the AFP, PNP, and PCG complemented by collaboration and consultation with all stakeholders shall be the guiding principle in addressing peace and security concerns.

“Despite differences in our respective uniforms and in the scopes of our respective work and mandates, we are all bound together by our common oath to serve and protect the Filipino people and our country as well as safeguard the national interest,” Eleazar said.

“But most importantly, we all have the same faith and hope for humanity. That is, perhaps the most fundamental reason why we need to foster and strengthen our cooperation and collaboration – to promote the common good” he added.

The joint accord was signed in Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo in Quezon City.

PCG warns mariners not to venture into rough seas amid bad weather

Marje Pelayo   •   July 22, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) warned mariners to refrain from venturing into sea as weather and sea conditions remain unsafe for travel.

The warning came after reported incidents of boat capsizes brought about by the combined impact of tropical cyclones and the southwest monsoon.

On Tuesday (July 20), PCG Sub-Station Semirara rescued eight crew members of MB Roxanne that submerged at the vicinity waters off Semirara Island in Caluya, Antique.

According to the rescued individuals, they encountered strong winds and heavy rainfall while travelling at sea from Caminawit Pier, San Jose, Occidental Mindoro going to Semirara Pinagpala Port, Caluya, Antique.

They were also battered by big waves that damaged their freeboard, causing the vessel to submerge.

The survivors were properly turned over to the Barangay Disaster Risk Reduction Management of Semirara for further aid and medical assistance.

On July 19, PCG Sub-Station Calatagan rescued two fishermen of a capsized motorbanca at the vicinity waters off Cape Santiago Light Station in Calatagan, Batangas.

“Despite the strong waves and wind conditions prevailing in the area, the SAR team was able to find and rescue the two fishermen,” PCG Station Batangas Commander Captain Geronimo Tuvilla said.

The rescued individuals were brought to safety, assessed, and properly turned over to their families, while their capsized motorbanca was towed back to shore.

“We also reminded them to prioritize their personal safety by not venturing into sea during bad weather and/or sea conditions,” Captain Geronimo Tuvilla advised.

According to state weather agency PAGASA, the combined effects of Typhoon Fabian and the southwest monsoon will cause rough to very rough seas over the northern, western, and eastern seaboards of Luzon (including the areas under TCWS #1) in the next 24 hours.

Thus, sea travel is risky for small seacrafts over these waters and mariners without the proper experience should immediately seek safe harbor.

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