On August 22, the U.S. government, through the Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), donated maritime tactical gear and vessel maintenance equipment valued at Php 11 million ($196,000) to enhance the maritime law enforcement efforts of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG). U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines MaryKay Carlson and PCG Deputy Commandant for Operations Vice Admiral Eduardo Fabricante led the turnover ceremony at the PCG headquarters in Manila on August 22, coinciding with the Fleet’s 15th founding anniversary celebration.
“The United States government has consistently shown its support for this organization throughout the years.? They are one of the most vocal advocates for improving [PCG] capabilities, in addition to the funding for education and training of the men and women of the PCG,” Vice Admiral Fabricante said.
“The PCG is on a promising trajectory, and we are committed to support them in achieving their vital and ambitious development goals and in responding to a wide range of maritime challenges,” Ambassador Carlson said in her remarks during the turnover ceremony.
The U.S. donation consists of visual detection and monitoring equipment, first aid kits to support fleet-provided trauma care, and an array of tools for conducting shore-based maintenance of PCG vessels. INL and its U.S. partners have developed a robust partnership with the PCG since 2015. Areas of cooperation have evolved beyond technical and operational training for PCG crew members to include major infrastructure development, comprehensive vessel support programs, and operational support equipment to significantly enhance the Philippines’ maritime domain awareness and expand the operational coverage of its exclusive economic zone. The U.S. Embassy and the PCG are working together to prepare for the visit of U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Midgett to the Philippines next week.
The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) (Filipino: Tanod Baybayin ng Pilipinas) is recognized as the third armed uniformed service of the country attached to the Philippines’ Department of Transportation, tasked primarily with enforcing laws within Philippine waters, conducting maritime security operations, safeguarding life and property at sea, and protecting marine environment and resources; similar to coast guard units around the world. In case of a declaration of war, the Coast Guard shall also serve as an attached service of the Department of National Defense. It currently maintains a presence throughout the archipelago, with thirteen Coast Guard Districts, fifty-four CG Stations and over one hundred ninety Coast Guard Sub-Stations, from Basco, Batanes to Bongao, Tawi-Tawi.