PCG reports crowded Batangas port; Marina steps up
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) reported a packed Batangas port with a 5,800 passenger count as of Holy Wednesday noon.
Because of this, the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) stepped up by implementing measures to address complaints of long queues there.
“Due to the influx of passengers reported at the Batangas Port during this Lenten Season, your Marina is now taking necessary steps to address the situation and ensure safe, reliable, and convenient transportation of passengers and rolling cargoes,” it said in a statement Wednesday.
“[W]e would like to assure the public that we are doing all our efforts to ensure that sea passengers will have safe and secure navigation. We urge the public to coordinate with the port authorities and shipping companies and follow the protocols and guidelines to ensure a smooth and safe travel experience,” it added.
Marina also disclosed issuing a “relaxation order” valid from March 26 to April 23 to let ships depart when their maximum authorized passenger and/or cargo capacities are attained.
“This will help reduce waiting time for passengers and ensure speedy transportation,” it explained, even noting that they had coordinated with shipping companies operating at Batangas Port.
According to Marina, the shipping companies have already deployed their personnel to manage the 24/7 operations of their port ticketing booths.
However, the port’s limited space can no longer accommodate ambulant boat ticket tellers, it said.
Millions of Filipinos are expected to return to their provincial hometowns to celebrate Holy Week.
One of the most important religious events for Catholics, Holy Week, or the final week of the Lenten Season, is revered as the most sacred in Christianity’s liturgical year.
For 2023 Holy Week, the public is in for a long weekend because regular holidays Maundy Thursday and Good Friday and special non-working holiday Balck Saturday are followed by another regular holiday – April 10, Monday – since the actual commemoration of the Araw ng Kagitingan (Day of Valor) falls on Easter Sunday (April 9). — Maria Liezl Projella, trainee