News Release

PBBM boosts PCG’s capability by adding more personnel

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on Saturday lauded President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. for augmenting its personnel immediately after assuming office, which greatly boosted its capability amid increased geopolitical tension.

“In the first year of the presidency of President Bongbong Marcos, he added an additional 4,000 that’s why we now have 26,000. Before the year ends this year, we’re also expected to have an additional 4,000 which will make the Philippine Coast Guard 30,000 strong,” PCG spokesperson Commodore Jay Tarriela said in a media forum in Quezon City.

Tarriela attended the forum to shed light on the laser-pointing incident by the Chinese coast guard and its dangerous maneuvers toward PCG vessels patrolling the West Philippine Sea.

The support extended by the President to the PCG significantly enhanced its capability and complemented the initiatives carried out by previous administrations aimed at building its capacity and personnel, the PCG official added.

In his speech during the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Alumni Homecoming 2023 in Baguio City last week, President Marcos said the country will not cede an inch of its territory amid the current geopolitical tension, promising to work with the nation’s allies to ensure the safety of Filipinos.

Aside from hiring more personnel, Tarriela raised the need for the Philippine Coast Guard Modernization Law to enable the PCG to program its asset acquisition such as offshore patrol vessels, additional aircraft, as well as enhancing Maritime Domain Awareness capability like building more radars, IAS and lighthouses in different coastal areas of the country.

The PCG also needs a coast guard response base, as well as berthing spaces for its vessels, Tarriela said, noting that right now, PCG vessels are dependent on the Philippine Port Authority’s berthing area.

With its current Php23-billion budget, Tarriela said the PCG is more than willing to accept the increase in funds.

“If the legislators themselves would choose to realign some of the budget from different sources, not just in one particular source that you mentioned, of course the Philippine Coast Guard, will also be happy to receive those realignment,” he said.

The PCG spokesperson also welcomed the possibility of conducting joint patrol with the United States Coast Guard although it is still in its infancy stage, noting the need to build a credible Philippine Navy to protect the country’s territorial integrity.

Tarriela told Filipino fishermen operating in contested waters to feel free to report to the PCG any untoward incident, assuring them that the PCG is always ready to respond and support their fishing activity.

He said that despite the dangers in the West Philippine Sea, the PCG will continue to do its mandate and comply with the President’s directive.

“Naiintindihan po namin ang danger na nakaatang sa aming balikat, and we still have that commitment that we are going to comply with the directive of the President that no square inch of our territory will be surrendered to any foreign power,” Tarriela added. (PND)