The Philippine Coast Guard is the country’s vanguard against the entry of unsafe foreign vessels into the country through its Port State Control. At present, the Philippine Coast Guard has seven (7) PSC Centers and fifteen (15) PSC Divisions all throughout the archipelago. The PSC Center in Manila has the bulk of all inspections based on frequency of foreign ship calls.

Pursuant to RA 9993, the Philippine Coast Guard is mandated to enforce regulations in accordance with all relevant maritime international conventions, treaties or instruments of which the government is signatory and national laws.  

MARITIME SAFETY or MARSAF function is designed to help prevent or minimize unnecessary loss of lives and properties at sea. 

The seaworthiness of every vessel leaving the port is ensured through the intensified Mandatory Pre-departure Inspection which include the compliance of vessels to safety standards and prevention of vessels from sailing for failure  to comply with the standards; conduct of random Emergency Readiness Evaluation and Operational Readiness Evaluation in the ports;  conduct of regular vessel safety inspections, and publication of Notice to Mariners (NOTAM), and the implementation and enforcement of navigational rules and designation of sea lanes, among others. 

Further, the PCG is also responsible in issuing permits and supervises all marine salvage operations. It is mandated  to destroy or tow floating hazards to navigation such as, but not limited to illegal fish traps and vessels.

Moreover, navigational safety is ensured by operating and/or maintaining and servicing 565 lighthouses and more than 44 navigational buoys around the country which guide and ensures safe voyage to mariners. 

The Philippines is a signatory to IMO Conventions on Marine Pollution of 1973 and 1978 (MARPOL 73/78). The Philippine Coast Guard under RA 9993 is the sole agency responsible for the Philippine implementation of the Conventions with regards to oil pollution, prevention, mitigation and control through the conduct of marine pollution monitoring and control, enhancement of PCG capability and oil spill response operations and enforcement of all marine environmental laws and regulations.


The Philippine Coast Guard, in accordance with the Convention of Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), is the national maritime search and rescue service of the country. The Coast Guard Action Center (CGAC) at the PCG Headquarters in Manila, by virtue of the current functions and facilities, serves as the coordinating centers for all search and rescue operations. The twelve Coast Guard Districts are designated as Maritime Rescue Coordinating Council (MRCC) within their areas of responsibility while the 59 Coast Guard Stations are designated as Maritime Rescue Sub-Centers (MRSC). The detachments under these stations are designated as SAR units.

The PCG’s SAR organization maintains constantly-manned watch centers that operate 24 hours a day, continuously monitoring distress frequencies and conducting coastal foot and seaborne patrol within their area of responsibility. There is at least one division or squadron of Coast Guard Auxiliary in each MRSC where watch can be set and assistance can be obtained when required. Likewise, at least one Deployable Response Team composed of Special Operations Group, Medical Team, K-9 and rescue swimmers is organized at  each Coast Guard District or MRCC which can be dispatched immediately to any maritime and land base search and rescue operations.


Maritime Security is another important function of the PCG. Considering the archipelagic character of the country, it is vital to enhance the security of its different maritime zones to protect the integrity as a nation. In the performance of this function, the PCG contributes to maintain good order at sea by conducting regular patrols and surveillance for the safety of navigation of ships, to safeguard ships from illegal acts and to promote freedom of navigation.

The PCG is likewise mandated to secure exploration and resource utilization activities within the country's maritime jurisdiction.

In its Sea Marshal Program, the PCG manages composite security forces composed of AFP, PNP and PCG elements to protect voyages of passenger-laden vessels in domestic routes. The Coast Guard also boasts of a newly established nationwide K-9 unit composed of highly trained sniffing dogs deployed in the major ports throughout the country.

The PCG is likewise mandated to conduct MARITIME LAW ENFORCEMENT (MARLEN) and implement laws on fisheries (and poaching), immigration, tariff and customs, forestry, firearms and explosives, human trafficking, dangerous drugs and controlled chemicals, and to implement the revised penal code and all other applicable laws within the country’s maritime jurisdiction and battle transnational crimes. 

The PCG is authorized to board and inspect all watercrafts suspected to be involved in or used in illegal trade. PCG personnel are also deemed agents of BFAR, Immigration, Customs, DENR, PDEA, and INTERPOL in the performance of its MARLEN function.

As a maritime organization  under RA 9993 , it is deputized by 21 government agencies to perform maritime law enforcement functions directed towards the suppression of piracy, smuggling, poaching, illegal fishing, illegal entry, human smuggling, illegal logging, drug trafficking, gun running and terrorist activities.