By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) – Southern Visayas district commander, Captain Eduardo De Luna, said over the weekend that he had requested for additional personnel and assets in order to further boost the district’s maritime law enforcement and search and rescue capabilities.
According to De Luna, following his assignment to southern Visayas earlier this year, he had noticed that the PCG in the district was currently undermanned.
De Luna said he had asked directly from PCG Admiral George Ursabia for the additional personnel needed in the district.
With the arrival of more maritime assets for the PCG, De Luna has also sought for at least one major PCG naval asset to be stationed in Negros which would be used for maritime law enforcement and rescue capabilities.
“Admiral Ursabia gave us the go signal and they will support us with this initiative,” De Luna added.
He said the public will expect in the coming days that the PCG-Southern Visayas will step up its maritime apprehensions against violators such as illegal fishing, as well as operations which aims to root out the smuggling of contraband such as illegal drugs.
The local PCG head is also hoping to call for a meeting with officials from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in Western and Central Visayas.
The PCG-southern Visayas district covers the provinces of Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental and the island of Siquijor.
Meanwhile, the PCG-Southern Visayas also hosted a mangrove planting and coastal clean-up activity in Bacolod City’s Barangay Punta Taytay on Saturday.
De Luna said barangay and purok officials participated in the event.
The PCG also gave away food packs and sacks of rice in exchange for the sacks of trash collected in the coastal villages.
A contest was also held for the participating barangays, wherein those who have collected the most unique garbage and most collected sacks of trash will receive sacks of rice and grocery items.
The event was also participated by the City Environment Natural Resources Office, Bacolod Real Estate and Development Corporation (Bredco), PCG-Auxiliary, and local fishing cooperatives in the city./DGB, WDJ