Additional budget for the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) is being proposed by Senator Richard Gordon to boost it’s capability in immediately coming to the rescue of Filipino fishermen who are in peril of the sea.
He also said that aside from having a capable Coast Guard and Navy, the country needs a capable Air Force to protect Filipino fishermen.
Senator Gordon made the statement in the wake of the incident near Recto Reef last June 9 when a Filipino fishing boat sank after it was hit by a Chinese fishing boat. The Filipino fishermen was left floundering in the water for two to three hours before Vietnamese fishermen came to their rescue.
“We should put additional budget to our Coast Guard so we’ll have the ability to rescue our fishermen, not to attach foreign vessels,” he said.
Gordon pointed out that with the Philippines being a maritime country, having one part land and nine parts bodies of water as well as a coastline twice the size of the United States at 36,289 kilometers, the PCG should be well-equipped to patrol its territory.
He added that aside from having a capable Coast Guard and Navy, the country should also have a capable Air Force to protect its territory.
“If we had ships, we would still need a capable air force to protect them, something we don’t have either. Our coast line is twice the size of the coast line of the United States at 36,289 kilometers, yet we only have 90 functioning planes to cover it, placing the ration at one rickety plane for every 403 kilometers,” he noted.