‘Kabayan’ cancels Western Visayas sea trips 

Personnel of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) give hot meals to stranded passengers at the Bacolod Estate Development Corp. (Bredco) port in Bacolod City, following the suspension of sea trips Monday due to Tropical Depression “Kabayan.” (Photo courtesy of PCG)

By Rjay Zuriaga Castor and Glazyl Y. Masculino

The heavy rainfall caused by the weather disturbance “Kabayan” in various parts of Visayas has led to the cancellation of boat trips on Monday, December 18.

In its latest sea travel advisory, the Coast Guard Station of Iloilo announced the cancellation of the following sea trips:

-Trips from Dumangas Port bound for Bacolod City and vice versa and trips from Fastcraft Terminal, Iloilo City bound for Bacolod City, Negros Occ. and vice versa that are below 300 gross tonnage only cargo with 75 percent load capacity onboard.

-Trips from Botongon Port Estancia bound for Sagay City, Negros Occ. and vice versa.

-Trips from Bay-Ang Port Ajuy, Iloilo bound for E. B Magalona, Negros Occ. and vice versa.

-Trips from Iloilo to Cebu and vice versa.

For Iloilo-Guimaras bound trips, only 50 percent of the total passenger capacity is allowed on fiber boats, while 100 percent cargo capacity is permitted on MBCA cargos.

Roll-on/roll-off (Ro-Ro) vessels are also reminded not to exceed 75 percent of the authorized cargo capacity indicated on the tonnage measurement certificate.

“All inbound and outbound sea travels/trips in Iloilo are reminded to take extra precautionary measures,” the coast guard added.

Fishermen and coastal communities are cautioned against going into the sea and refraining from engaging in any maritime activities, while larger sea vessels are alerted to big waves to prevent any untoward incidents.

The command and its nine substations are on full alert status, with the Deployable Response Team ready for immediate dispatch in the event of any emergency situations.

Meanwhile, the Dumangas Coast Guard Sub-Station led a feeding initiative for stranded passengers at the Dumangas Seaport.

More than 600 individuals are currently stranded at the port, including participants of the 18th National Scout Jamboree in Passi City from December 11 to 17.

In Bacolod City and Negros Occidental, a total of 968 passengers were stranded in various seaports here and in Negros Occidental yesterday due to Tropical Depression “Kabayan.”

Based on the data of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Northern Negros Occidental, 186 were stranded in San Carlos City, 153 in Escalante City, 43 in Sagay City, and 586 here.

The 618th Squadron of the PCG Auxiliary distributed hot meals to the stranded passengers at the Bacolod Real Estate Development Corp. (Bredco) port here.

They were taken by the local rescuers to the evacuation center in Barangay Taculing.

In a PCG advisory yesterday, trips to Daan Bantayan via Cadiz City, Tabuelan, Cebu via Sagay City and Escalante City, Toledo City, Cebu via San Carlos City, Dumangas, Iloilo via Bredco port, and Banago port here, and Iloilo via Bredco port here were suspended since Sunday, December 17.

Additional trips that were suspended the following day, were Bay-ang port Ajuy via Mantaangan port in E.B. Magalona town, and Sibunag port Guimaras via Pulupandan port.

Commander Joe Luviz Mercurio, head of PCG-Northern Negros Occidental, said that Negros Occidental was placed under Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal (TWCS) No. 1.

Mayor Alfredo “Albee” Benitez also ordered the suspension of classes in all levels here yesterday, due to the inclement weather brought about by the tropical depression.

However, as of 5 p.m., yesterday, the PCG issued another advisory for the resumption of trips after the TWCS in the province was lifted.

In its latest weather update, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) stated that light to moderate, at times heavy rains within two hours are expected in several areas of Western Visayas.

“Forecast rainfall is generally higher in elevated or mountainous areas. Under these conditions, flooding and rain-induced landslides are likely especially in areas that are highly or very highly susceptible to these hazards as identified in hazard maps and in localities that experienced considerable amounts of rainfall for the past several days,” the state weather bureau said.

The shear line coinciding with the passage of Kabayan may also bring heavy rainfall over the eastern portion of Southern Luzon, according to PAGASA.

As of 5:00 p.m. today, Kabayan has weakened from a tropical storm into a “remnant low.”

The low-pressure area was last spotted in the vicinity of Impasug-ong, Bukidnon.