The Duterte administration is earmarking PHP3.8 billion to the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) for the purchase of new ships, patrol boats, firearms, and other equipment, Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence ‘Bong’ Go said Friday.
“Mahigit 3 billion program na nakalatag. Mapupunta iyon sa mga bagong barko, patrol boats, armas at iba pang equipment (More than PHP3 billion has been set aside. It will go towards the purchase of ships, patrol boats, firearms, and other equipment),” he said in an interview.
He added that PCG Commandant Admiral Elson Hermogino would be scouting for new equipment that could be procured for the coast guard when he accompanies President Rodrigo R. Duterte in his official visit to Israel next week.
Go made the remark after speaking at the Coast Guard District in Southeastern Mindanao (CGDSEM)’s 33rd founding anniversary.
In his speech, he said the Coast Guard plays an important role in the Duterte administration’s campaign against drugs, corruption, and crime.
“Maraming salamat sa suporta n’yo. Kung di dahil sa inyo, mahihirapan ang gobyerno. Nakikiusap ako na suportahan niyo ang Pangulo sa kampanya laban sa droga, korapsyon, at kriminalidad (Thank you for your support. Without you, the government would have a hard time. I ask you to continue to support the President in his campaign against drugs, corruption, and crime),” he said.
Go added that he is honored to be inducted as member of the Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary (PCGA).
“I am honored, I am proud na maging kasama sa Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary. Papaano po kami makatulong sa ating karagatan, sa ating mga coastline, pangalagaan natin ang ating karagatan (I am honored, I am proud to be part of the Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary. We will help maintain our waters, our coastline. We will take care of our waters),” he said.
Go also praised the CGDSEM for its role in guarding Davao City during the Kadayawan Festival earlier this month, saying its members worked hard to perform their task.
Addressing those who were given awards like Enlisted Personnel (EP) of the Year, Station of the Year, Sub-station of the Year, Coast Guard Auxiliary Southeastern Mindanao (CGADSEM) of the Year, and CGADSEM Squadron of the Year, Go said the best asset of the Coast Guard is its personnel.
“To the awardees, tandaan nyo na ang mga award ay hindi lamang dekorasyon sa inyong mga uniform kundi simbolo ng reponsibilidad ninyo (remember that these awards are not just decorations for your uniforms but are symbols of your responsibilities). May they motivate you to strive harder. Excel at all times. Rise above yourselves. Be an inspiration to others,” he said.
Meanwhile, Go clarified in a media interview that even though it is part of the Department of Transportation (DOTr), entry positions of the Coast Guard are included in the base pay increase along with the Philippine National Police (PNP), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Department of National Defense (DND), Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), Bureau of Fire Protection, and the National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (NAMRIA).
“I just want to make it clear na ang Coast Guard po ay kasama, yung mga entry position, sa base pay increase. That includes the Philippine National Police at ang ating Armed Forces. Kasama rin dito ang BJMP, ang Bureau of Fire, including the Coast Guard po. Kahit na po under sila ng DOTr, they are considered the same (I just want to make it clear that the entry positions in the Coast Guard are included in the base pay increase. That includes the Philippine National Police [PNP], and the Armed Forces of the Philippines [AFP]. The Bureau of Jail Management and Penology [BJMP] and Bureau of Fire Protection [BFP] are also included in the base pay increase as well as the Coast Guard even if it is under Department of Transportation),” he said.