The Philippine transportation secretary Jaime J. Bautista vowed on January 12, 2023, the continued comprehensive modernization of the assets and manpower of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG). Secretary Bautista said the Department of Transportation (DOTr) will push for the PCG’s acquisition of assets and equipment as well as the inclusion of its officers in world-class educational programs. The transport chief added he envisions a world-class PCG men and women that can perform like the Coast Guards of other developed countries. The personnel complement of the Coast Guard has grown exponentially – from only around 7,000 several years ago to over 26,000 today.
“The Transportation Department will always support the continued modernization of the Coast Guard. We will continue to help the Coast Guard in pursuing their comprehensive modernization program. Given the inherently international nature of shipping and maritime transportation, attendance in world-class educational programs from these prestigious institutions should not be taken for granted. Please continue taking care of our precious marine life,” said Sec. Bautista during the annual PCG New Year’s Call.
Under Commandant Admiral Artemio Abu, the he Philippine Coast Guard plays vital role in maritime safety and security, Sec. Bautista explained as he called for diplomacy amidst the challenges in the country’s sovereign waters. Secretary Bautista further commended the agency’s humanitarian efforts and marine environmental protection, including the prosecution of illegal poachers. Apart from modern assets and well-trained personnel, Secretary Bautista called on the PCG’s role in the collective goal of providing accessible, affordable, comfortable, and safe transportation for Filipinos.
The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG, 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.