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Coast guard, Navy to make sure no one swims during Holy Week

The Coast Guard District Southeastern Mindanao (CGDSEM) and the Naval Forces Eastern Mindanao (NFEM) have intensified the patrols along the coastlines of Davao Gulf to help monitor the violators of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ).

Authorities will help make sure that crowds do not gather at the beach to ensure physical distancing.

Traditionally, Catholic faithful visit the beach on Easter Sunday.

The Regional Task Force XI COVID-19 issued Resolution 13 on Monday requesting the PCG and Navy to regularly patrol the coastlines to prevent mass gatherings in beaches.

“We have already directed our ships to conduct barrier patrols along Davao gulf specifically along Talomo and Toril vicinity,” Commodore Roy Echeverria, the commander of Coast Guard District Souteasthern Mindanao (CGDSEM), said.

Echeverria said three ships are taking turns on patrol. “We also deployed our ships in strategic choke points to monitor the movement of small bancas,” he said.

They have one deployed in Ocean View Samal and its main ship is docked at DPWH-Panacan while the others three are in Daliao fish port in Toril.

“We have been doing that since March 18 in compliance with EO 20 of Davao Mayor Sara Duterte,” he said.

“All our substations are required to conduct community support programs every day and must submit reports with pictures to the district,” he further said.

The maritime patrols conducted by their ships are 24/7.

“Our rubber boats and aluminum boats are also conducting their respective patrols based on intelligence reports, if any,” he added.

In a separate phone interview, Commodore Antonio Palces, the commander of Naval Forces Eastern Mindanao (NFEM), said that since the regional COVID-19 task force was activated, they have deployed give vessels for patrol.

“Because before, we were just conducting patrols along the Davao Gulf, then Samal every night using the multi-purpose attack craft and the patrol boat light of the Naval Special Operation Unit,” Palces said.

But, with the regional task force, they added the PS 36 (PG -118 and PG 1137), which have their own sectors to conduct patrols at any one time. Two will conduct patrol and the one will be at pier for emergencies.

“For now, they are conducting patrols, not only in Davao Gulf but all covering Region XI,” he said.

He said their directive is to prohibit swimming in beaches during the community quarantine.

“Our naval personnel and assets are committed to supporting the regional task force,” he further said.

Also, Davao Coast Guard Station commander Garry Laynesa said their personnel were directed to implement the guideline. It means no individuals or families are allowed to go swimming during the observance of the Holy Week and Easter Sunday.

“The Coast Guard Davao personnel will concentrate on the coastal communities to disseminate such order using the public address system,” Laynesa said. “Our floating units will intensify their seaborne patrol, and at the same time deliver the public address for widest dissemination.”

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