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MANILA – All shipping and fishing operations in all ports nationwide have been allowed to resume on Wednesday as former tropical storm Agaton dissipated 65 kilometers southeast of Guiuan, Eastern Samar.

In an advisory, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said the resumption of operations began at 9 a.m.—allowing all passengers, truck drivers and cargo helpers, vessels, motor bancas, and rolling cargoes to travel by sea after being stranded due to inclement weather.

In a Laging Handa briefing, PCG spokesperson Commodore Armando Balilo said there were around 3,000 stranded individuals at ports nationwide as of Wednesday morning according to data from the PCG command center.

“Pero dahil kahapon ay nagpalayag na tayo dito sa Matnog at kaninang umaga dito sa Central Visayas, inaasahan natin na unti-unti na po itong mababawasan at mawawala (But because we were able to resume sea travel at Matnog and recently in Central Visayas, we expect this to lessen and eventually disappear),” Balilo said.

These stranded individuals, he said, received food and water from the PCG, the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), and respective local government units (LGU) while they await the resumption of their journey.

To date, he said sea travel has resumed at ports in the Bicol Region, Eastern Visayas, Northeastern Mindanao, and Central Visayas.

He noted that ports nationwide are expecting to receive an influx of passengers during the holy week.

“Binabantayan po natin diyan iyong eastern seaboard at saka iyong western seaboard ng nautical highway. Ibig sabihin ito pong Batangas papunta ng Mindoro, Mindoro papunta ng Roxas, Mindoro to Caticlan, at hanggang sa makarating po sa Iloilo (We are monitoring the eastern and western seaboards of the nautical highway. This includes Batangas to Mindoro, Mindoro to Roxas, Mindoro to Caticlan, and up to Iloilo),” Balilo said.

He also reminded the public to check for the necessary documents before they begin their travel, notably their vaccination card and other requirements by their destination LGU, and to follow other protocols such as declaring dangerous cargo such as sharp objects, flammable liquids, and other hazardous materials. (Click here to read more…)