MANILA, PHILIPPINES –The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) is now on full alert status, following President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’ declaration of Code Red Sublevel 2 due to the increasing threat and number of infected individuals of COVID-19.
As the lead agency in the water security cluster, PCG Commandant, Admiral Joel S Garcia has ordered the strict enforcement of no sail policy in Manila Bay and domestic sea travel ban going to and from the Port of Manila on 15 March 2020 to 14 April 2020.
The no sail policy shall be enforced on all domestic passenger vessels and private watercrafts. Cargo vessels, fishing boats, tugboats, and government vessels may be allowed to sail, provided that crew members onboard shall be subjected to health protocols. Passengers and crew members of watercrafts navigating within the NCR shall observe the guidelines on social distancing set forth by the Department of Health and the Department of Transportation.
If a passenger or crew member shows symptoms of COVID-19, he/she will be isolated and turned-over to the medical team for proper disposition. Violators of said guidelines shall be apprehended and be subjected to appropriate legal action.
Composite law enforcement and medical teams of the PCG, Philippine National Police – Maritime Group, PNP – NCRPO, and Joint Task Force Armed Forces of the Philippines – NCR have been deployed to implement health protocols and safety guidelines on passengers and crew members of domestic and foreign passenger ships, domestic and foreign cargo vessels, fishing boats, motorbancas, private watercrafts, government vessels, tugboats, and pilot boats in Manila Bay and its coastal areas, Pasig River, Navotas River, Cainta River, Laguna de Bay, Parañaque River, Manggahan Floodway, Marikina River, and Las Piñas Bay.
Meanwhile, Admiral Garcia assured that the 100 deployable response teams of the PCG Task Force Laban Coronavirus are ready for deployment as force multipliers of the PNP in the enforcement of protocols and guidelines on the general community quarantine.
Said water security cluster measures shall also be implemented in Oriental Mindoro and other island provinces, as requested by their respective local government units, to prevent the spread of the contagious virus in their areas of responsibility.