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PCG: The Marine Environmental Protection Command (MEPCOM) of the Philippine Coast Guard exchanged a Memorandum of Agreement with Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation (PSPC) to provide trainings to PCG personnel and continue as partners in combating oil spill incidents in the country.

The exchange of the said memorandum was held during the celebration of MEPCOM’s 16th Founding Anniversary at the Coast Guard Base Farola, Farola Compound, Binondo, Manila last 05 June.

The said event was graced by Dr. Nilo S Katada, Ph.D., Deputy Chief of Fisheries Resource Protection and Law Enforcement Section-Quick Response Team (FRPLES-QRT) on behalf of Director Asis G Perez of Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR); Director Noel Antonio V Gaerlan, Executive Director of Manila Bay Coordinating Office; Captain Larry Cortez, Maritime Adviser of PSPC; Coast Guard stakeholders and PCG retired officers.

The theme for this year’s celebration is “MEPCOM: Effective Transformation Towards Greater Environmental Challenges”.

“DENR representing the law, BFAR representing law enforcement and Pilipinas Shell representing training. These are the three elements that are vital towards facing the challenges of environmental protection.”, Commander of MEPCOM, COMMO JOEL S GARCIA PCG, H.D., Ph.D., Al-Haj said in his speech.

“DENR, Coast Guard and BFAR have accountabilities and responsibilities in protecting our environment. But I believe that environmental security is shared responsibility, not just by your servant, but by you as well.”, he added.

One of the highlights of the anniversary was the conferment of Fish Examiner’s licenses by Dr. Catada and Commodore Garcia to 14 Coast Guard personnel who took up Fish Examiner’s Course which was convened last May 2013.

Another highlight was the awarding of the Marine Environmental Protection Unit (MEPU) of The Year to MEPU-Western Visayas which was received by its MEPU Commander, Lieutenant Jansen Y Benjamin and Marine Environmental Protection Non-Officer of the Year to Engineman First Class (EM1) Joel R Davin in recognition to their exemplary conduct of the command’s mission.

Also, plaques of appreciation were given to Dr Katada, Director Gaerlan and Mr Edgar O Chua, Chairman and President of PSPC for their invaluable support rendered to the command.

The event was also graced by a performance of one of the country’s famous folk singer, Ms Lolita Carbon, former lead vocalist of ASIN band.