PH Coast Guard vessel to patrol around Boracay during closure
MANILA, Philippines – A few days ahead of Boracay's closure, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) sent a multi-role response vessel (MRRV) which would conduct patrols around the island.
The PCG sent BRP Cabra (MRRV 4409) on Monday, April 23, with personnel from its Special Operations Force (SOF), Marine Environmental Protection Command (Mepcom), and Civil Relations Service (CRS).
Boracay's closure, as ordered by President Rodrigo Duterte, begins on Thursday, April 26. (READ: INSIDE STORY: How Duterte decided on Boracay closure)
"The group is set to conduct maritime security patrols and marine environmental proceedings in preparation for the 6-month rehabilitation of Boracay," PCG spokesperson Armand Balilo said on Monday.
The PCG also deployed BRP Davao del Norte, a search and rescue vessel, last Sunday, April 22. It has been conducting maritime security patrols.
Aside from the two vessels, the PCG also brought in a speedboat, an aluminum boat, and a rubber boat.
A dry run also happened on Monday for the entry and exit of passengers at the Caticlan port. (READ: Less than a week to go: Boracay braces for 6-month closure)
On Wednesday, April 25, personnel from Coast Guard Station Caticlan, Coast Guard Sub-Station Boracay, and SOF quick response teams will be joining an inter-agency capability demonstration to show government's readiness to respond to threats.
The PCG team will remain in the island during the rehabilitation work.
Water quality monitoring will be conducted by Mepcom in coordination with the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB).
Last March, Mepcom and the EMB already looked into illegal discharging of sewage into the sea near Sitio Bulabog in Barangay Balabag.
Duterte administration officials earlier said the government would fix the sewerage and garbage disposal systems of Boracay during the closure. Illegal structures will also be demolished.