The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) has recognized 81 graduates of the first-ever national level all-female radio operators course, ANGELS OF THE SEA in a low-key ceremony held in Pasay City yesterday, 25 June 2021.

Gracing the ceremony via virtual modality was Deputy Commandant for Operations, Vice Admiral Leopoldo V Laroya who expressed his sincere gratitude to Rear Admiral Ronnie Gil L Gavan, Commander of the Coast Guard Weapons, Communications, Electronics and Information System Command, who conceptualized and initiated the course in an effort to help sustain the empowerment of women in the Coast Guard service.

To recall, after a brief District-level training in June 2018, the ANGELS OF THE SEA was employed by the PCG along Basilan Strait and Sibutu Passage to temper seafarers' anxieties at the height of piracy and kidnapping in said areas at the country's south.

“The Command recognizes the evolving unique importance of having female radio operators aboard PCG vessels and shorebased units, especially in communicating with foreign ships, so as not to elevate tension. We want our ANGELS OF THE SEA to become the voice of peaceful and rules-based order at sea, especially in our country's  sensitive maritime frontiers,” VADM Laroya said.

Furthermore, VADM Laroya commended the graduates of the ANGELS OF THE SEA Class 01 – 2021 for accepting the challenge of honing their communication skills in preparation for their deployment aboard vessels and coastal stations to be instrumental in enhancing maritime law enforcement, maritime safety, and  maritime security in the Philippine seas.

Some of members of the Class are actually assigned aboard patrol ships participating in the PCG Task Force (TF) Pagsasanay which are on rotational training exercises at various Philippine maritime jurisdiction, including the West Philippine Sea.

“To our graduates, know that you could be great influencers and convincers by raising your voices with less pressure to sway those who are listening, which will then lead to successful operations. Hence, I challenge you to continue exploring and learning, and not just holding on to the lessons you acquired from this course," VADM Laroya exhorted.

The ANGELS OF THE SEA is one of the initiatives of the Command in providing equal opportunities to all members of the uniformed service so they could play their niche roles in securing the nation together as one at sea.

"Having good communication skills boosts one's self-esteem and confidence. It promotes understanding and is essential in having a successful career. We want all women in the Coast Guard service to be able to develop their sense of self-worth and give them their right to influence social change. We hope this course served its purpose of minimizing gender discrimination and highlighting the important role of women in public service," VADM Laroya concluded.

The ceremony coincided with the culmination of the PCG TF Pagsasanay maritime law enforcement and anti-piracy training exercise at the Sulu-Celebes Sea area launched earlier this week by the PCG Commandant, Admiral George V Ursabia Jr.