By Betheena Kae Unite
The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) was ordered on Tuesday to take control and supervision of security operations at all seaports nationwide amid the security threat posed by Maute terrorists.
Based on the order issued by the Department of Transportation (DOTr), Transport Chief Arthur Tugade directed the PCG, “to take over the security supervision of ports, and shipping, whether public or private, including the egress and ingress to all waterways from the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) and the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA).”
Under the order, the PCG is instructed to control movement of all vessels in seaports and harbors; designate security zones for maritime security purposes; enforce ports and ships identification system; regulate access to ports, vessels and waterfront facilities.
The PCG will strictly inspect cargoes to prevent the transport of contrabands and will set and enforce appropriate security levels in all ports in Mindanao, pursuant to the provisions of the International Ships and Ports Security (ISPS) Code.
The order also instructs the PCG to arrest, seize and detain persons, cargo and vessels found violating maritime security and other pertinent laws and to file the necessary charges.
Likewise, the DOTr tasks the Coast Guard to strictly enforce maritime security communications; supervise, regulate and control port police and private security guards, K9 entities, divers and underwater operationsin all maritime-related facilities and infrastructure.
Tugade said the order, issued last June 5, took effect immediately after its issuance and will remain in full force and effect until martial law is lifted in Mindanao.
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