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Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Commandant, Admiral George V Ursabia Jr has challenged the men and women of the PCG to step up their presence in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) and fly the national flag with a sense of pride yesterday, 25 May 2021.

This happened during the recognition of PCG and BFAR vessels that maintain maritime security and maritime safety in the WPS, including BRP Malapascua (MRRV-4403), BRP Capones (MRRV-4404), BRP Francisco Dagohoy (MMOV-5002), MCS-3001, MCS-3002, MCS-3004, MCS-3005, and BRP Habagat (TB-271).

"These are the two main objectives that we need to accomplish — stepping up our presence and flying the Philippine flag with a sense of pride — because the West Philippine Sea is ours! But then, we should not forget that it is also a contested area. There are others claiming that it is also theirs. But of course, we will not surrender the territory. It is ours! Hence, we have to do our part in a peaceful and rules-based manner," Admiral Ursabia exhorted.

Moreover, the Coast Guard Commandant urged PCG personnel to continue serving with humility and compassion, even amid the overwhelming commendations and support from the general public.

"We now have the attention, trust, and confidence of the Filipino people and the global community. Pero, huwag tayong magyayabang, dahil hindi gusto ni Lord na nagyayabang tayo. Let us remain humble and compassionate for that is how Coast Guardians should be. I am proud to see that all of you are fully embracing such virtues," Admiral Ursabia expressed.

"Thank you very much for such very impressive and exemplary performance. May God continue to bless you all as you go on in serving our motherland and the Filipino people with patriotism, compassion, and fear of God," the Coast Guard Commandant concluded.