The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) in Negros Occidental has asked its national headquarters for an additional 50 personnel to reinforce its present manpower in the province, including Bacolod City.
Commander Ludovico Librilla Jr., PCG station commander, said more passengers are expected in December, so more personnel are need to ensure the strict compliance to health protocols against the coronavirus disease.
“We have many ports and they are busy,” Librilla said.
He added that there is a difference in personnel variance because some of them underwent schooling.
Earlier, Captain Eduardo De Luna, district commander for PCG-Southern Visayas, said they need additional personnel and assets to further boost the district’s maritime law enforcement, and search and rescue capabilities.
De Luna said that following his assignment to Southern Visayas district earlier this year, he had noticed that the PCG in the area “is undermanned”.
He said that he requested PCG Admiral George Ursabia for additional personnel needed in the district.
Meanwhile, De Luna and Librilla said the PCG will continue to adhere to safety guidelines and health protocols, practices, and procedures in all inbound and outbound vessels of Negros Island, to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The assurance was made at the launching of MV Starlite Venus at Bredco Port in Bacolod City on Monday.
The vessel will transport passengers and rolling cargoes from Bacolod City, Iloilo City to Batangas City and vice versa starting Monday.
The PCG said the opening of trips will surely be of great advantage to the people of Negros province toward a healthier, livable and sustainable community.*GPB