No sail, no flight over
Alona now in effect
TAGBILARAN CITY, April 21 (PIA)--In response to the regional task group managing the security for the meetings of the Association of South East Asian Nations 2017 (ASEAN 2017) in Bohol, marine task groups in Bohol are implementing a 500 meter no sail zone in front of the Alona stretch of beach.
The policy is in effect until the end of the ASEAN 2017 meetings in Panglao.
Seaman (SN1) Ralph Barajan, deputy chief of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Detachment in Panglao bared this as Bohol Task Group Commander PCSupt Noli Taliño earlier issued the "no sail, no flight" policy over Alona Beach.
This is to add up to the implemented security measures to protect the international and local delegates to the ASEAN trade meetings held at the Hennan Resort and some top level meetings at the Amorita Resort on the southeast end of the 1.5 kilometer stretch of beach.
"We are implementing a 500 meter from the coastline demarcation line for sail boats from the Amorita to Kalipayan Beach on the south west end, SN Barajan revealed.
The PCG elements are not the only ones making sure that navigation by any craft in the area is restricted.
Also there to help secure the sea area fronting the famed Alona stretch are the floating assets of the Philippine Navy and the Philippine National Police Maritime Group.
The Philippine Air Force is also tasked to insure that the airspace over Alona is cleared, PNP regional sources reported.
This too as the local government of Panglao implements the ordinance finally designating a one-stop area for tourist boats ferrying guests to dolphin and whale watching as well as island hopping tours.
Panglao mayor Leonila Montero said they have designated a unified pick up and drop off for tourists in a bid to streamline policies in implementing marine safety and safety of beach fronts.
The municipal docking facility at the back of the church in Panglao has been picked as a station wile local officials are reportedly eyeing to put up more in areas where resorts congregate, if only to allow faster tracking of boats and PCG safety inspections before embarking on marine tours, PCG said.
Earlier, PCG Bohol District Commander Lieutenant Junior Grade Jimmy Berbo, who has a long record of experience in maritime safety, has also suggested a streamlined docking policy just as the Maritime Industry Authority of the Philippines has campaigned for registration of all boats used for public conveyance.
This also helps assure tourists that the boat they contracted to serve is registered, insured and tracked by the maritime authorities for protection and safety assurances.
Tour guides said the policy of a designated station could help control the operation of illegal fly by night colorum bancas.
Panglao, along with the PCG Panglao detachment has finally implemented Philippine Coast Guard Memorandum Circular 03-14 dated April 2014, as the government asserts safety of beaches in front of resorts, and in Bohol especially at its prime 1.5 kilometer fine white sand beach showcase of the Alona stretch.
A turn-off for tourists owing to the uncontrolled boat parking and dropping of anchors massively ruining its snorkel areas, Alona has also been widely criticized for allowing access to boats with propellers dangerously within the swimming and snorkel areas, practically accidents waiting to happen.
The boat parking is also blocking the sea view and the gorgeous sunsets.
Recently however, authorities have started to see the logic in keeping Alona and its prime beaches cleared of these hazards.
As this developed, Boholanos have praised the Panglao local officials and the PCG and openly hoped that the safety policy is sustained even beyond the ASEAN. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)