ILOILO CITY — Trips of small fastcraft vessels plying the Iloilo-Bacolod City route have been cancelled after a gale warning was hoisted over the province and Negros Occidental due to Typhoon Paolo.
Philippine Coast Guard-Iloilo commander, Lt. Ramil Palabrica, said Friday the trips of fastcrafts below 200 gross tonnage were cancelled since 2 p.m. Thursday after the state weather bureau issued a gale warning over the south coast of Iloilo and the south coast of Negros Occidental.
Palabrica said the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) issued another gale warning over the areas at 5 a.m. Friday.
“Small fastcrafts cannot manage the big waves in the middle of the waters of Iloilo and Negros so we cancelled their trips to secure the safety of our passengers,” he said.
Palabrica said no passenger has been stranded since fastcraft vessels with more than 200 gross tonnage are continuously operating and trips of roll-on/roll-off vessels are also ongoing via Lapuz Port and Dumangas Port.
Only the more than 100 passengers of “Milagrosa” vessel supposedly bound for Puerto Princesa, Palawan were stranded Thursday night after their trip was cancelled due to the low-pressure area (LPA) in Palawan.
Palabrica said the trips will resume immediately after PAGASA lifts the gale warning or if there is no more LPA in their port of destinations.
While no incident of capsized boats has been reported, small fishermen were advised not to venture into the waters for their safety.
Palabrica reminded passengers to continue to monitor the weather updates when traveling.
Boat operators are strongly advised to comply with safety requirements, especially the provision of life jackets to all passengers and to check the engines of their boat before departing.
Palabrica assured that Coast Guard personnel are on standby to respond to any untoward incident.