Level Up: The Coast Guard Recruitment Program

Service excellence has been a popular slogan as far as one can remember. Any management guru would say it is not an easy thing to do. And it is not something that can be done overnight. Because service excellence calls for nothing less than a cultural change. It requires time and preparation in the hope of achieving it. So does finding the right people for the right job - Recruitment.

We have set our sights in increasing our personnel strength to effectively perform the multifarious tasks of the PCG. Part of the Human Resource Development Plan for this year and the next is the projected recruitment of 1000 personnel for commissionship and enlistment in the PCG. To drastically raise the standard of personnel, recruitment program will be decentralized or regionally based. Part of the Commandant’s Compass is to have a professional, competent, multi-skilled and credible coast guardmen. To attain said standard, officer candidates must not only be college graduates but license holders as well, or enlisted personnel must have at least 72 units in college or graduates of TESDA courses. To have a reasonable mix of officers and enlisted personnel, the Command recruited a substantial number of female personnel. At present, the female personnel comprises nine (9) percent of the total PCG complement. We have also taken steps to mainstream them into the organization, as part of gender and development (GAD) efforts and gradually assign them aboardship. Technical service also upgraded recruiting more lawyers, doctors, nurses, and chaplains to be assigned with ten Coast Guard Districts, from Basco, Batanes to Bongao, Tawi-tawi.

On its 10th year of existence, the PCG is still way below of reaching its desired personnel strength despite the substantive number of recruits that join the service every year since the transition. The graph below indicates in no uncertain terms the still acute shortage of personnel in the service today, affecting the performance levels of Coast Guard units in the short run and the progressive manpower and skills build-up, which are vital components of the capability development thrust of the Coast Guard, in the long run:

Thus, continuing with the robust recruitment drive conducted during the past several years, the Command through DCCGS-HRM has projected for this fiscal year 2009 the recruitment of another one thousand (1,000) qualified applicants for commission officer and enlistment in the PCG service. Plus around eighty-nine (89) vacancies arising from the retirement of five (5) officers and eighty four (84) EP bringing the total number to be recruited to one thousand eighty-nine (1,089) persons.

The recruitment activities for 2009 starts off with fresh approach in view of the general clamor within the service for a better standard of recruitment in order to ensure that the Coast Guard gets the 'quality recruits' it needs and consequently raise the bar of excellence within the service agency. Accentuated by the rapidly increasing demands of the maritime milieu, it has to keep pace and adjust accordingly to the annealing changes so as to maintain dynamism. Therefore, it is an imperative to increase the PCG strength to finally perform better and deliver efficient and effective service of its mandated task to the maritime public. Life as a coastguardsman entails adventure, roaming the high seas, and fulfillment as a Filipino. It is a service not just to the nation but service to all mankind. More so it gives young men and women the opportunity to learn all sorts of trades and skills. Truly, life as a CoastGuardman is the life a young man or woman may seek.


A Legacy to the Future Officer Corps of the Coast Guard

When the Philippine Coast Guard separated from the Philippine Navy in 1998, its initial Corps of Officers is composed of men and women with multifarious backgrounds and areas of expertise. In order to cope with the personnel and material growth of the organization, the PCG started its own Officer procurement and Enlisted Personnel recruitment in 2000. The Coast Guard Education and Training Command served the purpose of providing the basic training and education needs of the new Officers and Enlisted Personnel. They were also cross-trained with other maritime training institutions to further enhance their knowledge and skills, thus allowing them to cope with the ever developing standardization requirements of the maritime industry.

Yet, the continuous growth of local and international shipping - the PCG's main clientele - demands that the organization further grow and expand in terms of men and materiel. Thus, in its amended 15-Year Development Program, the PCG intends to reach a troop ceiling of 25,000 Officers and Enlisted Personnel by year 2020.

Giving emphasis to the critical role of Officers in steering the helm of leadership of the organization as envisioned by SECRETARY LEANDRO R MENDOZA, the Secretary of the Department of Transportation and Communications recently gave the impetus for the creation of a Philippine Coast Guard Academy and for such to be established within 5 years after its conception. The Philippine Coast Guard Academy is envisioned to become the source of Coast Guard Officers who will then help steer the organization to the next generation and beyond.

Having been granted the imprimatur, ADMIRAL WILFREDO D TAMAYO PCG Commandant, PCG sought the assistance of RADM FIDEL E DINOSO, President of the Philippine Merchant Marine Academy which is the country's premier maritime training institution. With the proposed Memorandum of Understanding between PCG and PMMA, the latter agreed to accommodate 70 PCG Cadets annually for the next 2 years to join their Baccalaureate programs in Marine Transportation and Marine Engineering. This arrangement was reached considering the necessary infrastructure, facility, faculty and support systems for the envisioned PCG Academy are being set up and organized. With this arrangement, the PCG shall pay the PMMA the full scholarship fee for each PCG Cadet trained by the PMMA.

Meanwhile, PCG Cadets who will be joining the PMMA Cadetship program shall benefit from the IMO-standard training facilities of the PMMA. The PCG is thus, assured of professional competence upon their completion of their courses and upon their eventual entry into the PCG service. Study shows that the establishment of the PCG Academy could be patterned after the United States Coast Guard Academy. This, because of the similarities with the culture, curriculum and the capabilities of the graduates to serve in the Coast Guard, as well as, practice their profession as merchant mariners.