MAASIN CITY, Leyte: The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) will soon embark on a nationwide numbering of motorized and manual boats plying the seas or coastal waters around the country.
Officially called Safety, Security and Environmental Numbering (SSEN) System for all Philippine vessels/watercrafts, the move called on owners of fishing boats big and small, as well as passenger bancas (motorized boats), to visit the nearest Coast Guard Station or Sub-Unit and have their water conveyances numbered good for a three-year period.
But for now while the information phase of the project is still ongoing, PCG personnel were the ones making the rounds in coastal municipalities and barangays (villages), conducting meetings with fisher folks or boat owners, said SNI Bocanillo Lumacad of this city’s Coast Guard station.
They had done so in some coastal barangays in this city and have schedules for visits in the days and weeks ahead, Bocanillo said.
He added that the service and materials, like paint, to be used for the markings are all free of charge.
The primary aim of the SSEN is to establish a database for sea-faring transports to quickly check on the origin just by looking at the big and bold signage by the side of the craft.
The clear and visible numbers will also serve as a tool for civilians to report to the PCG the presence of such boats in their localities, especially so if such boats bore no numbering, Lumacad said.
Regarding the potential confusion for the public and the owners as two other government agencies, the Maritime Industry Authority and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, would also impose their policy on registering boats, Lumacad said this will be considered to avoid undue duplication.