Sun. Dec 6th, 2020
(Photo Courtesy: http://www.rappler.com)

As Typhoon Rolly (international name Goni) made landfall today (Sunday), the Maritime Sector of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) has taken all necessary precautionary measures like imposing the “no sail policy” for all types of ships.

The DOTr’s maritime agencies are the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), Philippine Ports Authority
(PPA), Cebu Port Authority (CPA) and Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA).

“To ensure the safety of lives and property at sea, a ‘no sail policy’ for all types of ships including fishing vessels will be enforced in areas where Tropical Cyclone Wind Signals (TCWSs) are raised. Vessels in these areas are advised to take shelter while ports and other maritime infrastructures including their equipment are to be secured,” the DOTr said in a statement.

DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade has also ordered a strict round-the-clock monitoring of movements for both ships and passengers across the country, especially in Southern Luzon and in the Bicol region that lie on the path of Typhoon Rolly.

“The PCG Command Center, all Coast Guard Districts, Stations and Sub-Stations were ordered to go on standby to immediately respond during emergency situations, in coordination with various local government units (LGUs) and disaster response teams (DRTs),” the DOTr added.

In addition to monitoring the movement of Rolly and enforcing the “no sail policy,” the Maritime Sector of the DOTr has placed on standby Deployable Response Groups (DRGs) composed of expert divers, rescue swimmers, paramedics and K9 teams.

These DRGs will be coordinating with the various LGUs and DRTs for the conduct of evacuation and rescue operations in high-risk areas while observing strict health protocols amid the coronavirus pandemic.

For their part, the PPA and the CPA have ordered all Port Management Offices to closely monitor the Severe Weather Bulletin of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) and to disseminate guidelines and operating procedures in ports to ensure the safety of vessels, port facilities, port users and port operators.

“Also, vessel operators in areas affected by Typhoon Rolly are advised to shelter their vessels, secure port equipment and infrastructures, and ensure that a sufficient number of crew are on standby depending on the TCWS raised. Port managers are also ordered to maintain contact with PAGASA and the PCG every four hours,” DOTr said.

Harbor masters are also directed to establish contact/coordination with the vessels in the ports, while port managers are ordered to make sure that stranded passengers are provided with the basic necessities and are accommodated in PPA and private ports.

Meanwhile, MARINA has ordered domestic shipowners, bareboat charterers, motor banca operators and ship operators to comply with the “no sail policy” issued in the affected areas.

MARINA also ordered officers and crew members to be on alert and actively monitor abrupt changes in weather conditions as areas considered sheltered may quickly become exposed during harsh weather conditions. SOVEREIGNPH

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