'Human anchor,' discussions on piracy to kick off Maritime Week
The Philippine Coast Guard said organizers plan to muster 2,500 participants for the human anchor at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila.
"[S]tudents from maritime schools, Coast Guard personnel, maritime employees and stakeholders will gather in front of the Quirino Grandstand in Rizal Park to prepare for the human anchor that will symbolize unity in the maritime sector in pursuing safety of life and property at sea," the Coast Guard said on its website.
This will be followed by the blowing of ships' horns nationwide; a flower drop from a Coast Guard helicopter at the Quirino Grandstand; and a motorcade along Roxas Boulevard.
Transportation Department Undersecretary for Operations Rafael Santos will be the guest of honor while Coast Guard Commandant Vice Admiral Edmund Tan, Maritime Industry Authority head Nicasio Conti and Philippine Ports Authority General Manager Juan Sta Ana will formally declare the Maritime Week open.
After the opening ceremony, maritime security experts will hold a security forum at the PCG headquarters and discuss issues on piracy and the West Philippines Sea.
Other activities include a maritime congress for seafarers, search and rescue exercises, silent drill exhibitions from maritime schools, medical and dental missions and band concerts.
Coast Guard Rear Admiral Lino Dabi, who chairs the technical working group, said the celebration will also pay tribute to the seafaring community and will promote the global competitiveness of the seafarers.
The Maritime Week celebration stems from the International Maritime Organization Circular No. 1884 dated July 11, 1996.
It declares every last week of September as Maritime Week and urged member nations to undertake activities to promote safety of life and property at sea.
The last Friday of September every year is also National Maritime Day in the Philippines.
The celebration is spearheaded by the Philippine Coast Guard with this year's IMO theme, "One hundred years after Titanic—lessons from past maritime disasters." — BM, GMA News