Maritime operations of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Station in El Nido, Palawan gets a big boost with the addition of a new speedboat to its fleet.

The speedboat, with registry number PCG MB-001, was a birthday gift to DOTr Secretary Arthur P. Tugade from his son, Perry’s Holding Corporation President and CEO Paul Louie Tugade, for the purpose of donating it to the PCG.

“Our father has always been generous to us, to our employees, and to his co-workers. We knew he wanted to give something significant to aid the PCG personnel in their duties, at the same time help our kababayan. Kaya po ito ang naisip naming ibigay para sa kanyang birthday,” Mr. Paul Louie Tugade said.

The speedboat is equipped with a 15HP (horsepower), 4-stroke outboard motor (OBM), and can carry ten (10) persons.

PCG Commandant Admiral George Ursabia Jr describes Secretary Tugade as a strong-willed and compassionate leader, not only of the DOTr but also the PCG.

"Secretary Tugade is not only a Secretary, but a father to the men and women of the Philippine Coast Guard. Through his generous support, we continue to serve others with utmost humility and genuine compassion. The speedboat donated by the Tugade family is a realization of his sincerity and commitment to strengthen our force and equip us with necessary resources so we may effectively perform our part in giving the Filipino people a safe, secure, and comfortable life," he said.

Secretary Tugade took the initiative in donating the speedboat, taking into consideration the need and the important role of the PCG in the maritime sector.

"The speedboat will help the PCG in its mandate of performing maritime search and rescue, maritime law enforcement, maritime safety and security, and marine environmental protection. Hindi na po nagdalawang-isip ang pamilya ko sa pag-donate nito. Ang importante ay matugunan ang pangangailangan ng PCG para maayos silang makapagserbisyo,” the Transportation Chief emphasized.

The speedboat arrived at the Coast Guard Station in Palawan on 16 January 2021, and is now being utilized for maritime patrols in the waters of El Nido.

Commodore Arnaldo M Lim, Commander of the Coast Guard District Palawan, said the addition of the speedboat to its arsenal of equipment boosts the conviction of the station's 33 officers and personnel to carry out their tasks, as well as to help in the recovery of local tourism and economy by maintaining maritime security.

“Upholding maritime security and maritime safety in support of the recovering tourism amid the COVID-19 pandemic is both a challenge and a privilege for the Coast Guard District Palawan, specifically Coast Guard Station El Nido. We are humbled to utilize the speedboat donated by Secretary Arthur Tugade and his generous family in such a time when the local government is implementing measures to slowly revamp the tourism industry towards the restoration of local livelihood,” the PCG Palawan District Commander said.

“With this additional asset, our men and women are more confident in performing our duties and responsibilities, knowing that we are equipped and more than capable of extending the necessary assistance to the people,” Commo Lim added.