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The Philippine Coast Guard yesterday reminded people who plan to go on an island vacation during Holy Week to avoid patronizing colorum inter-island vessels.
“As much as possible, huwag nang tangkilikin ang mga colorum vessels. Do not compromise your safety,” Commander Armand Balilo, PCG spokesman, said.
Balilo noted that aside from the dangers in riding colorum vessels, it will be difficult for the Coast Guard to deploy a response and rescue team in case something happens.
“Dito kami nahihirapan pagka may nangyari at hindi nakatala sa listahan ng Coast Guard ang vessel, wala rin naming tala kung ilan ang hahanapin namin sapagkat hindi namin alam kung ilan ang laman ng vessel,” Balilo said.
Balilo said it is easy to determine colorum vessels.
Colorum vessels have limited or do not have life jackets for their passengers. They also have limited access to communication because they do not use radios but cellular phones.
“They will not be able to seek for rescue because they only use cellular phones, which sometimes do not have signals in some areas,” Balilo said.
No matter how short the travel is, Balilo said it is important to wear life jackets. “Do not just place them on your lap or hold them.” (Betheena Kae Unite)