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Coastguard wants Tawi-Tawi motorboats registered

Coastguard wants Tawi-Tawi motorboats registered
Teofilo Garcia, Jr August 11, 2018

ZAMBOANGA CITY--The Philippine Coastguard (PCG) is pushing for the registration of all types of watercraft in Tawi-Tawi as part of its anti-terror effort in the southern part of the country.

Lt. Senior Grade (Lt.SG) Euphraim Jayson Diciano, commander of the coastguard station in Bongao, Tawi-Tawi, told Philippine News Agency that the program--known as Safety Security Environmental Number System (SSENS)--aims to minimize, if not totally eradicate, the operation of unregistered watercraft like “temper-type” wooden-hulled vessel and motorized banca.

Diciano said the system will serve as a deterrent to terror acts through the use of motorboats.

“It’s easy for the authorities to identify the people aboard if and when their vessel is registered,” Diciano said.

He said so far there are more than 5,000 motorized banca that are registered in the province of Tawi-Tawi, which comprises 11 island towns.

“Usually temper-type boats are not registered,” he said, adding: “these type of vessels are being used by the residents to go to Malaysia.”

He said that vessels with 30 gross tonnage (GT) and below should be registered with the local government units (LGUs) while those with 30 GT should be registered with the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina).

He said the Coastguard has no data as to how many wooden-hulled, especially temper-type vessels, are operating without registration.

Meanwhile, he said they have also required all big vessels to install radio communication equipment on board.

Diciano said cellular phones are not reliable for communication aboard vessels since not all areas in Tawi-Tawi have a signal.

“The radio is useful since it can be used to communicate even in the high seas,” he added. (PNA)