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More vessels to join Fluvial Procession on Saturday

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio January 15,2020 - 09:02 PM

The Philippine Coast Guard in Central Visayas conducts a dry run for the 2020 fluvial procession at the Mactan Channel. |CDN Digital photo | Gerard Vincent Francisco

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Philippine Coast Guard in Central Visayas said that at least 160 vessels were registered for the annual Sinulog Fluvial Procession on January 18, 2019.

This is at least 86 more vessels compared to 2019, which Lieutenant Junior Grade Michael John Encina, the spokesperson of PCG-7, attributes to the early registration and wide dissemination of information regarding the procession.

The registration began on December 6, 2019 and ended on January 15, 2020 spanning more than a month. No extension of the registration was given.

“As of the moment wala pa pong pronouncement ang Task Unit Maritime Security regarding extension of such (As of the moment, there is no pronouncement from the Task Unit Maritime Security regarding extension of the registration),” said Encina in a text message to the media.

The 146 vessels are divided into three divisions, the 3-gross tonnage (GT) and below vessels all belong to Division 1, 3 to 15 GT vessels belong to Division 2, and motorbanca or vessels with 15 GT and above belong to Division 3.

Division 1 has 17 vessels, Division 2 has 110 vessels, while Division 3 has 33 vessels. The vessels belonging to the each division will have the same colored flags.

Division 1 will have red flags, Division 2 will have yellow flags, while Division 3 will have white flags. Without the corresponding flags, the vessel will be asked to leave the Mactan Channel.

Each division will be positioned accordingly for the safety of the vessel and its passengers since every vessel requires a certain distance from each other. Bigger vessels need a farther distance from other same sized vessels.

“We are asking the operators of the vessels to be in the Mactan Channel before 4 a.m., because after that they will not be allowed entry even if they are registered,” said Encina.

The final briefing for participants will be on Thursday, January 16, 2020, at the PCG-7 headquarters in Cebu City for the final instruction and safety reminders. /rcg

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