DAVAO CITY – The Philippine Coast Guard wants resort owners in the Davao Region to have two lifeguards as a safety measure due to an increasing number of visitors to the beaches during the summer season.

Commodore Joselito de la Cruz, district commander of the Coast Guard in Southeastern Mindanao, said the measure is “to respond to the increase (of people engaging in) not just swimming but sea-related activities.”

The Coast Guard said that last Holy Thursday, they have recorded a peak of 13,961 visitors from Davao City to the Island City Garden of City of Samal (Igacos).

They said the average visitors from March 27 to April 5 or the Holy Week, is from 4,000 to 5,000 daily.

“We need to secure the beaches from sunrise to sunset and we are calling the resorts owners for a meeting,” de la Cruz said.

August Carino of the Coast Guard Davao Station, said they conducted coast patrols in beaches in Punta Dumalag, Seagull Beach Resort, Coaco and Matina Aplaya in Davao City and in Bluejazz Beach, Paradise Beach, Kaputian Island, Babak coasts, and Talikud Island in Igacos.

Felisa N. Orongan, officer-in-charge of the Maritime Industry Authority  (Marina) XI, said they have been checking if various marine vessels plying the Davao – Igacos sea route are “licensed, seaworthy, safe for travel, and manned by qualified personnel and crew.”

She said they are monitoring 20 vessels for charter hire in the Sta. Ana Wharf, a number of liner vessels traversing from one port to a specific ports, water-taxis and five Roll-on Roll-off vessels in the said sea route.

“We check if they are compliant to passenger and ship safety once a year and we issue them safety certificates one a year but those who have night time navigation, we check every 3 months,” said Orongan.

De la Cruz siad they will maintain passenger assistance centers throughout the duration of summer and have set-up desks to receive complaints and even to render medical assistance.

The Coast Guard has not recorded any drowning incident during the Holy Week.

Carino said their aluminum boats played a crucial role in their sea patrols and presence in Davao coastal waters.

He said they hope to have one lifeboat, costing P400,000 each, in all of their detachments which also covers Malalag, in Davao del Sure and Panabo in Davao del Norte. (davaotoday.com)

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