Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Inauguration of new Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) District Headquarters in Western Visayas

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Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Art Tugade led the inauguration of the new Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) District Headquarters in the Western Visayas today, 08 November 2021, to strengthen the presence of the country’s maritime force in the region.
Secretary Tugade expressed his gratitude to former Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Mark Villar and Iloilo City Rep. Julienne Baronda for the funding, conceptualization and construction of the new PCG district headquarters located in Barrio Obrero, Lapuz, Iloilo City.

“Nagpapasalamat ako sa DPWH, pagkat itong building ito ay naitayo sa pamamagitan ng pondo nila under their convergence program. Maraming salamat po sa tulong niyo sa Philippine Coast Guard. To Congresswoman Jam, it was through her efforts, her prodding and every presentation na pinagtagpo ang pangangailangan ng PCG, kaya natupad itong building na ito,” Secretary Tugade said during the inauguration of the new PCG district headquarters. Also in attendance during the ceremony were Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, PCG Commandant Vice Admiral Leopoldo Laroya and Iloilo City Rep. Julienne Baronda.

Secretary Tugade said the new PCG regional headquarters in the Western Visayas aims to strengthen and support the PCG workforce in carrying out its mission of safeguarding life and property, marine environment protection, and in conducting humanitarian missions and disaster response and management operations.

Secretary Tugade also revealed that the PCG will organize the Philippine Shore Auxiliary volunteers, who will augment the PCG workforce and man the country’s coastal states.

“Kailangan pangalagaan ‘yung coastal. Hindi lang pinapangalagaan ‘yung hanapbuhay ng fisherfolk, hindi lang nito sinisiguro na mapipigilan ‘yung illegal transport of drugs, hindi lang pinapangalagaan ‘yung safety and security ng bansa sa mga coastal towns,” Secretary Tugade said, adding that when he took over the helm of the DOTr, the PCG personnel only had 6,400 members.

“The Philippine Coast Guard has flown high. We started with merely 6,400 people. Now we are going to 21,000 members. I expect more. I want the PCG to have more members that’s why I want to have auxiliaries,” he said.

Secretary Tugade also instructed Philippine Ports Authority (PAA) General Manager Jay Santiago to construct a pier at the PCG district headquarters to optimize its use.

For her part, Rep. Baronda expressed her gratitude for the PCG for assisting Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and locally stranded individuals (LSIs) in ferrying them back home to Iloilo.

“Thank you to the Philippine Coast Guard kasi kayo ang unang tumulong sa amin na masagip ang ating mga OFW at mga LSI pauwi ng City of Iloilo,” Rep Baronda said.

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