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The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) published last week the revised rules on grounding of vessels during extreme weather conditions, with the shipping industry saying it would better facilitate trade and commerce. The revised rules, titled "Guidelines on Movement of Vessels During Heavy Weather," were in memorandum circular 01-09 issued on Feb. 5. It prohibits vessels less than 1,000 gross tons from sailing under public storm signal 1 within the point of origin, path and destination.

The rules would take effect 15 days after publication, or on Feb. 20, said Vice-Admiral Wilfredo D. Tamayo, PCG commandant. Mr. Tamayo Sunday said affected stakeholders such as Philippine Interisland Shipping Association (PISA), Philippine Liner Shipping Association, Filipino Shipowners’ Association, Alliance of Philippine Fishing Federations, Inc., Lighterage Association of the Philippines and the Masters and Mates Association of the Philippines and industry regulators Maritime Industry Authority and Philippine Ports Authority took part in crafting the new policy.

Mr. Tamayo said in an interview that all vessels are grounded if signal 2 is raised within the point of origin, path and destination. Vessels that have sailed under this weather condition would be advised to take shelter. The circular has lifted the interim rules that automatically prohibited all vessels from sailing under signal 1. "It’s a welcome development. It will help liners meet their scheduled trips. Passengers and cargo owners should also be able to plan their trips and meet their commitments with better accuracy," Josefina C. Maitim, PISA officer-in-charge, said in a text message. The new directive resulted from the review of an earlier policy issued by PCG on June 2007 that banned all vessels from sailing only when storm signal 3 and 4 are raised. Vessels with less than 1,000 gross tons are banned from sailing during signal 1, while vessels with less than 2,000 gross tons are not allowed to sail during signal 2. The earlier directive was reviewed following the sinking of Sulpicio Lines, Inc.-owned M/V Princess of the Stars last June 21 off Sibuyan island in Romblon province. The 23,800-ton liner sailed on June 20 as signal 1 was raised in Metro Manila and signals 2 and 3 were raised on its path. The vessel, which was en route to Cebu from Manila, carried over 850 passengers and crew, but only a little over 30 survived. - BusinessWorld

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Admiral Tamayo, JIATF West Director Tomney Discuss Areas of Cooperation

Philippine Coast Guard commandant Adm. Wilfredo D. Tamayo hailed the visit of United States Coast Guard Rear Adm. Christopher J. Tomney, the director of Joint Inter-Agency Task Force West, Jan. 7, at the PCG headquarters in Manila, describing it as “fruitful” as they discussed more areas of “cooperation.” The JIATF West is based in Nimitz-MacArthur Pacific Command Center in Hawaii. Tamayo and Tomney in their talk on areas of cooperation, delved on “cross-training programs” and “conduct of mobile training to improve and effectively address maritime challenges.” The Philippines, an archipelago and a maritime country, consists of more than 7,000 islands with a total of some 36,000-kilometer coastal stretch, one of the world’s longest. Tomney was presented a PCG plaque of appreciation by Tamayo during the former’s visit to the PCG headquarters. In welcoming Tomney, Tamayo was joined by Vice Adm. Ramon Liwag, PCG vice commnan for operations; Rear Adm. Edmund Tan, PCG vice commandant for administration; Commodore Gilbert Rueras, commander of PCG Maritime Safety Services Command, Commodore Lino Dabi, commander of PCG Marine Envionmental Protection Command, Commodore Aaron Reconquista, commander of PCG Air Group who was a classmate of Rear Admiral Tomney at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, class 1986, and Cdr. Timoteo Borja, commanding officer of the PCG Intelligence Group. Tomney thanked the entire PCG for the warm welcome and reception accorded him by the PCG command.

Source: https://www.dvidshub.net/image/356665/admiral-tamayo-jiatf-west-director-tomney-discuss-areas-cooperation

JIATF Director visits Philippine CG Commandant

Philippine Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Wilfredo D. Tamayo '79 welcomed US Coast Guard Rear Admiral Christopher J. Tomney '86, Director of Joint Interagency Task Force West based in Nimitz-MacArthur Pacific Command Center, Hawaii at Headquarters Philippine Coast Guard last Oct 7, 2010. Admiral Tamayo discussed with RADM Tomney the possibility of more areas of cooperation in terms of cross-training programs and conduct of mobile training.

Vice Admiral Ramon Liwag, Vice Commandant for Operations, Rear Admiral Edmund Tan, Vice Commandant for Administration, Commodore Gilbert Rueras '82, Commander of Maritime Safety Services Command, Commodore Aaron Reconquista '86, Commander of Coast Guard Air Group and classmate of Rear Admiral Tomney at the US Coast Guard Academy, and Commander Tim Borja of Coast Guard Intelligence joined the Commandant PCG in welcoming the JIATF West Director and party.

Source: https://www.cgaparents.org/s/1043/uscga/index.aspx?sid=1043&gid=1&pgid=252&cid=2424&ecid=2424&crid=0

Missing Boat with 5 Americans Found in Philippines

Searchers from the Philippine coast guard found five missing Americans on board a sailboat that was reported missing en route from Guam. All were in good health, officials said Sunday.

A search ship guided by a spotter plane located the 38-foot (11-meter) catamaran The Pineapple after it was spotted off the southern island of Dinagat, coast guard chief Adm. Wilfredo Tamayo said. The rescuers were escorting the vessel to its original destination on central Cebu island, he said.

"They apparently had engine trouble while in rough seas," Tamayo told The Associated Press, adding that he was awaiting other details.

The sailboat left Guam on Jan. 6 on a trip that normally would take seven to 10 days, officials said. Relatives of the Americans contacted the U.S. Coast Guard when it had not reached its destination by Jan. 18, they said. The U.S. Coast Guard then asked the Philippines to help in the search.

Guam, a U.S. territory, is about 1,400 miles (2,290 kilometers) east of Cebu, where heavy rains and rough seas have been reported in recent weeks.

"They're all in fine health," Tamayo said of the four men and a woman on board the boat, including a Filipino-American in the U.S. Air Force. Their identities and hometowns have not been released by the U.S. Embassy in Manila.

A Philippine coast guard plane spotted the sailboat on Saturday but could not identify the vessel due to poor visibility. The plane returned after the weather cleared Sunday and confirmed it was the missing boat, Tamayo said.

A video taken from a search plane showed four of the Americans on top of the white-hulled catamaran, one apparently waving, as a rubber boat with coast guard personnel approached.

U.S. authorities were informed of the discovery and have been in touch with Philippine officials to provide help to the Americans, U.S. Embassy spokeswoman Rebecca Thompson said.

Many Philippine provinces, particularly in the east, have experienced rough seas amid unusually heavy rains since late December. At least 68 people have died and 26 others remain missing from the stormy weather set off by a cold front.

The coast guard rescued 260 of 277 people aboard nearly a dozen boats that sank, overturned or ran into trouble last week due to the inclement weather. Fifteen remain missing while two drowned, the officials said.

Source: https://www.foxnews.com/world/missing-boat-with-5-americans-found-in-philippines