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Coast Guard, ports gear for travelers returning from Holy Week break

The Philippine Coast Guard remained on high alert while port operators geared up on Sunday, in anticipation of the expected rush of travelers following the long weekend amid the Easter Triduum.

According to the PCG, it will continue to monitor the situation until the end of the week, as travelers who spent the Holy Week in the provinces are expected to return to their bases upon the resumption of work and classes.

“Even after [Holy Week], heightened alert pa rin ‘yan, hangga’t walang [until there is no] command ang [from the] higher HQ,” Southern Tagalog Coast Guard commander Commodore Gerardo Tuvilla said in Emil Sumangil's report on GMA’s “24 Oras Weekend” on Sunday.

Among the busiest ports during the Holy Week was the Calapan Port, where operators expected a rush of travelers on Sunday evening heading to Batangas.

“Marami kaming inihandang canopy sa labas para pagpasok ng pasahero ay meron silang bubong, at dito naman sa loob ng terminal building makakabili ng ticket ang pasahero para convenient sa kanila at malamig,” Ports Services Division manager Leo Romeo said.

(We prepared a lot of canopies outside so that when passengers enter, they have a roof and here inside the terminal building, the passengers will be able to get tickets conveniently, and it will be cold (amid the heat).)

Data from the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) show that there were 96,000 passengers from March 24 to March 28, where bus operators have assured that they will be able to accommodate some 5,000 passengers who are expected to return to Manila.

“Marami kaming bus dito naka-standby, 174 units ‘yan, kasama na ang mga reserved diyan. Lahat naman ng darating na pasahero dito, mauubos namin ‘yan,” bus line supervisor Eduardo Juanillo III said in a separate report by Paul Hernandez of GMA Regional TV Balitang Southern Tagalog.

(We have a lot of buses on standby, 174 units, including those reserved. We will be able to accommodate all the passengers who will arrive.) — Jon Viktor D. Cabuenas/BM, GMA Integrated News