The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) has replenished fishing gears and basic supplies in Pag-asa Island, Kalayaan, Palawan on 20 November 2021.
PCG Spokesperson, CG Commodore Armando A Balilo said BRP Capones (MRRV-4404) of the PCG Task Force Pagsasanay (PCGTF-P) turned over said items to the Local Government Unit (LGU) of the municipality of Kalayaan Island Group (KIG) in support of the thrust of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) to support the operations of local fishermen especially those in remote territories such as the KIG. It also ferried provisions for the PCG and Philippine National Police (PNP) stations in the area.
“Relieving personnel were also transported to provide sufficient rest period to deployed law enforcement teams which is necessary in upholding public health and safety amid the COVID-19 pandemic,” CG Commodore Balilo added.
While underway to Pag-asa Island from Puerto Princesa, Palawan, BRP Capones (MRRV-4404)’s Commanding Officer, CG Captain Glen B Daraug has monitored a China Coast Guard (CCG) vessel approximately one to two nautical miles away from their vessel. No radio challenge was made by said foreign vessel while the Coast Guard ship continued its course towards its destination.
PCG Commandant, CG Admiral Leopoldo V Laroya said the routine mission of the PCGTF-P in the country’s maritime zones has manifested the PCG’s firm commitment to the government's whole-of-nation approach on safeguarding national interests through rules-based and peaceful approach.
The PCG collaborates with other agencies through the National Task Force for the West Philippine Sea (WPS) headed by the National Security Adviser (NSA), Secretary Hermogenes C Esperon Jr.
Earlier this year, the PCG has activated the PCGTF-P to pursue synergy in "Training while Operating" among multiple PCG Commands and Services involved in supporting the NTF- WPS. It is presently led by CG Rear Admiral Ronnie Gil L Gavan – the Commander, Maritime Security and Law Enforcement Command and CG Vice Admiral Oscar C Endona Jr who recently assumed the position as the Vice Commandant for Administration. He is assisted by CG Rear Admiral Allan Victor T dela Vega and CG Rear Admiral Charlie Q Rances on matters relating to operations and administration respectively.
The PCG has continued to accelerate institutional capacity building amid a rapid modernization and organizational expansion in the aftermath of the national government's priority support.
To recall, on 04 November 2021, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has commissioned a brand-new light transport and reconnaissance aircraft for the PCG and recognized the new facilities for PCG Station Kalayaan in the Pag-asa Island to better the living conditions of its personnel in the area. The agency is also set to receive its two largest ships from Japan early next year, a further boost to its modernized fleet of multi-role vessels such as the BRP Capones (MRRV-4404).
“Rest assured that your Coast Guard will continue to strengthen its maritime security law enforcement and safety functions towards the protection of the country’s productive fishing zones and rich biodiversity for the benefit of the present and future generations,” the Coast Guard Commandant expressed.
“This is in compliance with the directive of Department of Transportation - Philippines (DOTr) Secretary Art Tugade to vigorously pursue public service anchored on patriotism, compassion, and fear of God towards the realization of President Duterte’s vision to provide safe and comfortable lives for all Filipinos, especially those living in far-flung areas such as Pag-asa Island and other remote coastal communities in the country,” CG Admiral Laroya emphasized.