Kalag-kalag trav­el­ers crowd Cebu ports, bus ter­mi­nals

Cebu Daily News - - NEWS - By Nes­tle L. Semilla and Nor­man V. Men­doza /WITH RE­PORT ERS FROM CORRES PONDENT BEN­JIE TALISIC AND SILLIMAN IN­TERN JULIEN MARIE PIÑERO

Trav­el­ers have started crowd­ing Cebu ports and bus ter­mi­nals on Mon­day, a day be­fore the start of the two­day spe­cial non­work­ing hol­i­day in celebration of the All Saints’ and All Souls’ Days.

En­sign John Manuel Alip, deputy com­man­der of Philip­pine Coast Guard (PCG) Cebu Sta­tion, es­ti­mated the trav­el­ers who left and ar­rived at the ports of Cebu yes­ter­day to have reached at least 50,000.

The aver­age num­ber of trav­el­ers was es­ti­mated only at 19,000 per day last week.

“We de­ployed ad­di­tional per­son­nel at the port ar­eas. We are also tapped the help of the Coast Guard Aux­il­iary in se­cur­ing ports all over Cebu (prov­ince),” Alip said.

Alip said they started to im­ple­ment their full alert sta­tus on Oc­to­ber 26 to es­pe­cially dis­cour­age over­load­ing. This is ex­pected to con­tinue un­til Novem­ber 6.

He said that they are also get­ting help from the Philip­pine Na­tional Po­lice (PNP), the Armed Forces of the Philip­pines (AFP) and the Mar­itime Po­lice.

“Mas strict na ang Coast Guard sa mga over­load­ing. Kung ano lang ang ca­pac­ity ng barko ac­cord­ing to the Ma­rina Cer­tifi­cate they have, strictly yun lang ang susundin natin (The Coast Guard is now strict against over­load­ing. We im­ple­ment the al­low­able num­ber of pas­sen­gers pro­vided for in the ves­sel’s Ma­rina Cer­tifi­cate),” Alip said.

Alip is also ap­peal­ing to trav­el­ers to re­frain from tak­ing un­reg­is­tered sea ves­sels to their des­ti­na­tions for their own safety.

The man­age­ment of the North Bus Ter­mi­nal lo­cated in Man­daue City said they were ex­pect­ing around 30,000 pas­sen­gers on Mon­day. But the bulk of the trav­el­ers were ex­pected at night­time since most of them were still at work dur­ing the day.

Ly­dia Evan­ge­lista, 58, was among those who crowded the ter­mi­nal on Mon­day af­ter­noon.

Evan­ge­lista, who is stay­ing with rel­a­tives in Minglanilla town, south Cebu, was on her way home to Barangay Tin­dog in Medellin town lo­cated around 116 kilo­me­ters north of Cebu City.

She said that she did not have to wait long to get a ride be­cause of the avail­abil­ity of buses at the ter­mi­nal.

Neme­sio Luma­pac, NBT su­per­vi­sor, said that Val­lacar Tran­sit Inc. alone de­ployed 250 Ceres buses to ferry north­bound trav­el­ers dur­ing the Kalagkalag celebration.

To en­sure the safety of their pas­sen­gers, they also de­ployed 24 se­cu­rity per­son­nel to work on two shifts per day and made sure that the ter­mi­nal’s 12 CCTVs are func­tional.

Per­son­nel from Man- daue City Po­lice Of­fice’s (MCPO’s) Spe­cial Weapons and Tac­tics (SWAT) also man a po­lice as­sis­tance desk at the ter­mi­nal.

The Cen­tral Visayas of­fices of the Land Trans­porta­tion Of­fice (LTO) and the Land Trans­porta­tion Fran­chise and Reg­u­la­tory Board (LTFRB) also set up help desks at the ter­mi­nal to es­pe­cially dis­cour­age driv­ers against over­load­ing.

At the Cebu South Bus Ter­mi­nal (CSBT), the man­age­ment is ask­ing com­muters to re­frain from car­ry­ing with them al­co­holic bev­er­ages, bladed weapons and bu­tanes to fa­cil­i­tate their im­me­di­ate ac­cess into the ter­mi­nal lo­cated along Natalio Ba­calso Av­enue in Cebu City.

Ter­mi­nal Man­ager Joey Her­rera said that pro­hib­ited items are con­fis­cated prior to a pas­sen­ger’s en­try at their fa­cil­ity.

Se­nior Supt. Den­nis Agustin, Po­lice Re­gional Of­fice 7 deputy di­rec­tor for op­er­a­tions, vis­ited the CSBT at 9 a.m. yes­ter­day to per­son­ally over­see the im­ple­men­ta­tion of ter­mi­nal se­cu­rity.

Agustin also led the dis­tri­bu­tion of leaflets on how to achieve a safe travel and how to en­sure safety while in­side ceme­ter­ies.

/CDN PHOTO/JUNJIE MEN­DOZA

Hun­dreds of pas­sen­gers have started crowd­ing Pier 1 in Cebu City on Mon­day.

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