MANILA — The Philippine Coast Guard on Wednesday allowed seaport operations to resume after Typhoon Agaton stranded thousands of passengers who scrambled to return to provinces for the Holy Week.
Coast Guard spokesperson Commodore Armand Balilo said passengers, drivers, cargo helpers, vessels, and rolling cargoes stuck in ports could now travel after the storm's onslaught in the Visayas.
In a separate statement, PCG said shipping and fishing were allowed to resume as of 9 a.m.
"Inaasahan natin na unti-unti na po itong mababawasan at mawawala. Siguro sabihin natin... na delayed lang at dahil nag-resume na ang ating mga biyahe," Balilo said in a public briefing.
(We are expecting that they would eventually dissipate. Let us just say that their trips were delayed because our operations have just resumed.)
Food and water were made available to stranded travelers, he said.
Trips through inter-island ferries, meanwhile, were expected to increase as the weather gradually becomes fair.
"Binabantayan din natin, mahigpit po ang panuntunan natin... na dapat organisado, secure at kombinyente po ang paglalakbay ng mga kababayan natin," he said.
(We are monitoring it. Our guideline is clear that trips should be organized, secure, and convenient for our passengers.)
The PCG is on heightened alert during the Holy Week.
The Coast Guard earlier said it would also make lifeguards, rescue equipment, and first aid facilities available 24 hours daily in major tourist destinations.
Video from PTV