MANILA — The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on Friday announced that it is set to implement a “No-Sail Zone Policy” during the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting next week.
Under its Contingency Plan, the task group has declared an “exclusion zone” which covers two nautical miles from the shoreline going seaward from Pasig River to the stretch of Parañaque City.
The “No-Sail Zone Policy” will meanwhile be implemented within 30 yards from the shoreline going seaward also at the said vicinity.
A heightened alert will also be enforced in Pasig River wherein enforcers are on the look-out for critical infrastructures such as bridges as well as informal settlers dwelling within the area.
PCG said that its personnel and floating assets are now in high state of preparedness and readiness in providing maximum maritime security to the head of states and APEC delegates.
Commander of Coast Guard District National Capital Region-Central Luzon and National Director of the National Coast Watch Center (NCWC) Commodore Joel Garcia will head the Task Group.
Commodore Garcia called for the cooperation of all vessel owners, port users, traders and shippers with the security preparations taken and security measures being implemented by the task group as early as three weeks prior the summit.
All passengers are advised to avoid bringing prohibited goods such as ammunition and explosive materials and to be at the port at least two hours prior departure.
Owners of motorbancas and fisherfolks from coastal barangays are also asked to refrain from sailing near the no-sail zone areas during the APEC week.
PCG said that through the Vessel Traffic Management System (VTMS), all plying vessels entering Manila Bay from south and north entrance of Corregidor will be challenged by floating assets of enforcing agencies.
About 70 floating assets PCG, Philippine Navy, Philippine National Police (PNP) Maritime Group and the Bureau of Customs, will be dispatched to interdict non-compliant vessels entering the exclusion and no-sail zones.
Vessels must seek permission from the task group if they decide to berth to another area or else movement of vessels in the exclusion zone is restricted.
Domestic and international vessels in the no-sail zone which would berth or dock in North or South Harbor, on the other hand, will be escorted by the forces of said task group.
Security preparations for the visiting head of economies have been further intensified such that all its stations and sub-stations nationwide, particularly in Visayas and Mindanao area will be on the look-out for possible threats and suspicious-looking persons.
Additional security protocols will be enforced by PCG through profiling of ships’ passengers going to Manila before and during the duration of the APEC summit.
There will be rigid screening for all container vans of cargo vessels which will be implemented through the PCG K-9 Unit to evaluate any means of transport of weapons of mass destruction.
PCG will also deploy additional sea marshals for vessels and personnel to be dispatched at North Harbor where most passengers are disembarked while a Customs/Immigration/Quarantine/Security Inspection will be conducted by the PCG and its K9 unit personnel to all international vessels berthing at South Harbor. Azer N. Parrocha/PNA