Coast Guard District Palawan (CGD Palawan) is now on full alert status following President Rodrigo Duterte’ declaration of “Code Red Sublevel 2” status nationwide due to the increasing threat and the number of COVID-19 infected individuals.
In a statement sent early Sunday morning, Commodore Allan Corpuz, commander of the CGD Palawan, said as the lead agency in the water security cluster in Palawan, he has ordered the strict enforcement of a “limited sail policy” in the entire province.
He said domestic sea travel is imposed going to and from the Port of Manila from March 15 to April 14, 2020.
“The no sailing policy shall be enforced on all local (Palawan) passenger vessels and private watercraft. Cargo vessels, fishing boats, tugboats, and government vessels may be allowed to sail, provided that crew members on board shall be subjected to health protocols. Passengers and crew members of watercraft navigating within Palawan shall observe the guidelines on social distancing set forth by the Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of Transportation (DOTr),” he said in the statement.
The statement from Corpus said further that if a passenger or a 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 Coast Guard District Palawan, PPO, CPO, Maritime Group, and Joint Task Force under the Western Command (WESCOM) have been deployed to implement health protocols and safety guidelines to passengers and crew members of domestic and foreign passenger ships, domestic and foreign cargo vessels, fishing boats, motor bancas, private watercraft, government vessels, tugboats, and pilot boats in the entire water of Palawan.
Meanwhile, Corpuz assured that the 10 deployable response teams of the Task Group CGD Palawan Laban Coronavirus are ready for deployment as force multipliers of the PNP in the enforcement of protocols and guidelines on the general community quarantine.
The same water security cluster measures shall also be implemented in other municipalities, as requested by their respective local government units, to prevent the spread of the contagious virus in their areas of responsibility.