Coastguard girds for influx of festival revelers

January 13, 2018

ILOILO City – The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) is preparing for a surge of people in various Iloilo seaports for the Dinagayang Festival.

The Dinagyang season officially kicked off yesterday with a preview of the performances of 10 groups in the ati-ati tribes competition. The two-day festival highlights are on Jan. 27 and 28.

Lieutenant Ramil Palabrica, commander of PCG-Iloilo, said public assistance desks would be erected in all seaports starting next week.

PCG-Iloilo will also deploy a DF-7 boat, two aluminum boats and one rubber boat to respond to any untoward incident at sea, particularly between Iloilo and Guimaras Island, and Iloilo and Bacolod City.

Palabrica said around 20 to 30 coastguard personnel would be posted in each seaport to prevent overloading.

They would also be thoroughly inspecting the baggage of passengers and would confiscate illegal drugs and deadly weapons like guns and knives.

To help the coastguard personnel in the inspection are dogs trained to detect illegal drugs and explosives.

Palabrica also said PCG-Iloilo has been tasked to ensure a safe and orderly conduct of the Dinagyang fluvial procession on Jan. 26 at the Iloilo River. It is a procession of the image of the Santo Niño.

The fluvial procession would start at Fort San Pedro and end in front of the Bureau of Customs on Muelle Loney Street.

Palabrica said PCG-Iloilo is partnering with other agencies such as the Philippine National Police, Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary, Maritime Industry Authority, Department of Transportation, and the Philippine Ports Authority. (PNA)