The Philippine Coast Guard in Central Visayas (PCG-7) reminded boat operators to secure permits from the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) to determine their seaworthiness before they join the Señor Santo Niño fluvial procession on January 20.
“By the time that they have secured special permits from Marina, PCG-7 will issue the accreditation and guidelines for the fluvial (procession),” said Cebu Coast Guard Station Commander Jerome Cayabyab.
He said they opened the application for accreditation of sea vessels last December 2017.
As of January 3, Cayabyab said they have not yet accredited any sea vessel.
Of the 300 vessels which joined last year, only 57 were registered as participants for the fluvial procession.
Cayabyab discouraged operators from decorating their vessels with buntings. Children below 12 years old are not allowed to join the procession.
He said bringing of balloons, liquor, sharp weapons, firearms and firecrackers are prohibited.
Cayabyab said a sea marshal will be deployed in each vessel.
“We will also ask augmentation of personnel from other Coast Guard Stations in the region and substations here in Cebu,” he added.
The Coast Guard Cebu station will deploy 38 personnel while around 20 personnel will be deployed from Tagbilaran, Bohol.
Around seven aluminum vessels, two rubber boats and a sea craft from Tagbilaran, Bohol will be deployed to ensure the security and safety of the participants.
On Friday, the Fiesta Senyor 2018 committee will convene for a multi-sectoral meeting to finalize the security plan.
PCG-7 will also schedule a joint dry run activity with the Philippine Navy before the actual fluvial procession.
Earlier, the organizers from the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño announced that a vessel from the Philippine Navy will serve as a galleon for this year’s fluvial procession.
It will start sailing from the Naval Forces Central (Navforcen) port area in Lapu-Lapu City.
Cayabyab said the vessel will travel from Navforcen at 6 a.m. and dock at Pier 1 at 8 a.m.