A revitalized Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), an agency bestowed with substantial responsibilities as a multi-mission maritime agency tasked to promote safety of life and property at sea, protect the marine environment, enforce maritime laws, and conduct maritime security operations celebrates its 111th Founding Anniversary.
Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) Secretary Joseph Emilio Aguinaldo Abaya who graces the said event with the theme: “Sama-samang Paglalayag sa Matuwid na Daan” lauded the agency for its willingness, readiness and boldness in spirit and action to respond to many difficult situations in service of the Filipino people.
Abaya commended the members of the country’s maritime law enforcement agency which he described as an important proud service who selflessly and courageously assisted our countrymen in distress in many incidences of calamities and maritime emergencies that occurred in the country.
He also gave praise and recognition to the Coast Guard for the valuable efforts during the search and retrieval operations for the body of the late secretary of the Department Of Interior And Local Government Jesse Robredo and the two pilots of the ill-fated Piper-Seneca plane in the waters of Masbate.
Abaya cited the rescue team especially that amidst danger and uncertainties of the retrieval operations, elite divers from the Coast Guard Special Operations Group (CGSOG) did the best they could from day one until the bodies of the plane crash victims were found on separate dates including the recovery of the fuselage of the plane which is an important key to the recently concluded government probe of the crash.
Abaya also praised the agency’s humanitarian service rendered during the tremendous flooding in Metro Manila and nearby provinces Luzon and Visayas areas brought about by the weeks-long wrath of southwest monsoon or habagat rains and then existing typhoons in the country’s area of responsibility.
He added that the PCG’s willingness, readiness and boldness in spirit and action to respond to many difficult situations in service to our people is truly a mark of professionalism and competence and has earned my trust and admiration, as a secretary of department of transportation and communications.
Rear Admiral Luis Tuason Jr., PCG officer-in-charge and vice commandant for operations said that 20 12 is a year in which the PCG had faced though challenges as some of these brave men and women needed to endure 61 days filled with uncertainties at sea Bajo de Masinloc dur- ing the height of the stand-off between Philippine and Chinese forces in the disputed territories in the West Philippine Sea which the agency believes is part of the country’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
During the onslaught of Typhoon “Gener” and the monsoon rains in the middle of the year, the men and women of PCG also responded diligently and attended to those affected by more than 20 maritime incidents that happened almost simultaneously and many of those rescued were trapped inside their homes that were situated in the flooded areas of Quezon city, Mala bon and Marikina.
Tuason added that the PCG has made nine major interceptions and seized contraband goods such as magic sugar, illegal clothing, jewelry, batteries, and other imitation products that are estimated to be worth over P114 million.
Aside from goods, there were also smugglers who were engaged in the human trade and the agency were able to block 10 attempts and apprehended eight of their vessels that led to the rescue of 1,012 victims for 2012.