The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) is on red alert in preparation for tropical storm "Nina" (international name Nok-ten), which entered the Philippine area of responsibility early Friday.
Commodore Joel Garcia, the new officer-in-charge of the PCG, ordered the cancellation of all leaves and directed field commanders to deploy trucks and personnel to assist people in central and southern Luzon, where the storm is seen to hit.
The PCG explained that they can only prevent vessels from sailing once a storm signal is issued by PAGASA. Garcia advised the public to maintain awareness of weather advisories issued by authorities.
"Hangga't maaari, sila po ay bukas ang kanilang radio saka TV, alamin saka pakinggan sa ating mga reporter, kung nasaan na po ang bagyo. Kasi kapag [tropical cyclone warning] number 1…pagpapaumanhin niyo po na hindi na po papayagan ng Coast Guard na maglayag ang mga barko," said Garcia.
Vessels moving passengers in Southern Philippines were still allowed to sail on Friday, in the absence of a typhoon signal.
Most vessels were fully-booked, with passengers headed home for the holidays.