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President vows support to PCG modernization

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President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Wednesday assured the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) that his administration will continue to support its modernization efforts as he lauded the group for its role at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

FULL SUPPORT. President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. vows to give his administration’s full support to the Philippine Coast Guard, which he said is taking on “many new duties” beyond its turf, as it marks its 121st founding anniversary. Marcos is joined by Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista and PCG Admiral Artemio Abu in touring the BRP Gabriela Silang, the third biggest modern vessel in the Coast Guard fleet. Revoli Cortez

“As your leader, I assure you that this administration will always be behind you, supportive of your efforts and initiatives to modernize the Philippine Coast Guard, which will redound to the better delivery of service to the nation,” the President said during the PCG’s 121st founding anniversary.

“When the pandemic came to the Philippines and we were in need of skilled workers to help in again another duty or another mission that was not originally the mission of the Philippine Coast Guard,” he said.

“Yet the Philippine Coast Guard rose to the challenge, and to this day are continuing that duty to help alleviate the problems brought about by COVID-19, and in your duty and in your service, you have saved many, many lives,” Mr. Marcos added.

During the event, the President also led the presentation of awards to the exemplary members of the PCG. He was assisted by Coast Guard commandant Admiral Artemio Abu.

The Chief Executive also toured BRP Gabriela Silang (OPV-3801), the third biggest modern vessel in the Coast Guard flotilla.

Also present during the PCG anniversary celebrations were Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista, Special Assistant to the President Antonio Lagdameo, National Security Adviser Clarita Carlos, Senator Francis Tolentino, and various members of the diplomatic corps.

“As you fulfill your duty, know very well that you will never sail as a lone body in these unsettling waters. The entire force of the Filipino people will fuel your voyages, aiding you in your mission, as you brave our seas and make a difference in the lives of the people that you serve,” Mr. Marcos told the Coast Guard.

The Chief Executive said for 121 years, the PCG has bravely performed maritime search and rescue operations, enforced maritime law, and ensured maritime safety, maritime security, and marine environmental protection, among others.

“I congratulate each and every one of you for this impressive record. This success speaks well of your loyalty, your perseverance, and also your triumphs in carrying out your mandates, as you continuously evolve into a more reliable, relevant agency over the years in the future,” the President said.

He also honored the nation’s oldest and only humanitarian armed service for its invaluable aid to those in need, proactive approach to preventing and mitigating the risks associated with maritime incidents and weather disturbances, and assurance and maintenance of peace and order at sea.

The Chief Executive likewise urged the Coast Guard personnel to remain dedicated and persistent in their duties and responsibilities and “move full throttle towards the realization of your vision to be a world-class guardian of the sea.”

“With the brave men and women of the Philippine Coast Guard, guarding our shores, I am confident that we will be able to steer our nation in a direction towards safer shores and even onwards to a better, brighter, and more prosperous future,” the President added.

The President also said that the Coast Guard takes a proactive stance in preventing and mitigating the risks associated with maritime incidents and weather disturbances.

Furthermore, he said the PCG also conducts maintenance to lighthouses or parolas “to make sure that our fisherfolk and our ships are safely guided in their journey.”

In his speech, the President also said that the PCG is crucial to the government’s law enforcement initiatives by ensuring and maintaining peace and order at sea.

“And the Philippine Coast Guard in the recent past has taken on many new duties. Critical of that is now you are the frontline in the defense of our maritime territory, in defense of our economic zones, in defense of our baselines,” he said.

“Although this may not have been originally part of the mission of the Philippine Coast Guard, you have nonetheless been performing that mission with honor, with skill, with dedication. And we in the administration and the rest of the government count on you to continue that good work,” the President said.


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