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Immigration, Coast Guard on high alert

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Immigration, Coast Guard on high alert


THE Bureau of Immigration (BI) and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) are on high alert in all international air and sea ports nationwide to ensure the safety of travelers going home to the provinces for the coming All Saints’ and All Souls’ Days.

Not discounting the possibility that terrorists may take advantage of the situation, the BI, through acting spokesman Grifton Medina, said over the weekend that its heightened alert status would extend all the way up to mid-November for the coming Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit.

During said period, Medina said, all immigration officers were ordered to be doubly strict and vigilant in screening travelers, and “to refer for secondary inspection foreigners who have doubtful purposes in entering the country and those who have questionable travel documents.”

Meanwhile, Capt. Armando Balilo, the PCG spokesman, said that the Coast Guard has activated “Oplan Biyaheng Ayos”, which would remain in effect until November 6 to ensure the orderly operation of sea transport facilities and safe travel of passengers.

Balilo said tighter security measures would be enforced and all maritime activities monitored 24/7, adding that all PCG personnel and assets would also be on standby to respond to any maritime incident.

Balilo said ship inspectors and PCG K-9 teams were also instructed to be vigilant and conduct random checks on passengers and their luggage to ensure that no dangerous cargo or explosive materials would be loaded onboard passenger and cargo vessels.

In a related development, the Department of Public Works and Highwas (DPWH) said that it would also be deploying a composite team from its district engineering offices nationwide to assist motorists and the general public.

Under the DPWH Lakbay Alalay Program for the All Saints’ Day, assistance units will be available on strategic locations starting Monday, October 30, at 5 p.m. until Thursday, November 2, at 12 noon to provide personal and prompt assistance on normal and emergency situations on a round-the-clock shift. WILLIAM B. DEPASUPIL



Edited by soupeod
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