Philippines Coast Guard to take over port security

The Philippines government has ordered the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) to take over security of all the country’s ports and waterways.

Department of Transportation Secretary Arthur P. Tugade told the Coast Guard “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)”.

Secretary Tugade told the PCG to control movement of all vessels in ports and harbours; designate security zones for maritime security purposes; enforce ports’ and ships’ identification systems; regulate access to ports, vessels and waterfront facilities; inspect cargoes to prevent the transport of contrabands; and to set and enforce appropriate security levels in all ports in Mindanao under the provisions of the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code, the Department of Transport said via its website.

“This allows 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,” the statement added. 

The Order will remain in full force and effect until Martial Law in Mindanao, where the government is battling an Islamic insurgency at Marawi, is lifted.

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