By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) commandant, Admiral George Ursabia, Jr., arrived at the Bredco port yesterday morning to join the 3rd founding anniversary of the PCG Southern Visayas District.
Ursabia, who was onboard the PCG’s flagship BRP Gabriela Silang, said the district’s founding anniversary was long overdue as it was supposed to be celebrated last August.
However, the COVID-19 pandemic delayed the celebration.
Ursabia said the PCG specifically brought the BRP Gabriela Silang to Bacolod in order to show to the Bacolodnons and Negrenses that they have a new ship.
“We are here to inform everybody that the PCG has the capacity to respond to their mandates,” he added.
Ursabia also revealed that they are in the process of recruiting more personnel. At the moment, the PCG has a total of 18,000 personnel, which the admiral pointed out was not enough.
Since the coastline of the country stretches 37,000 kilometers, the PCG would need at least 40,000 active personnel.
“We want to have at least one coast guard for every kilometer of coastline,” he pointed out.
Ursabia said there is a long way to go for them, but what is good about their current situation is that their strength is increasing.
During the event, Ursabia also witnessed the oath taking of the new PCG Auxiliary members and the signing of the memorandum of agreement with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
He also oversaw the signing of the deed of donation and activation of the PCG Air Station in Negros Occidental’s Hinoba-an town.
Among those who attended the event were Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson, Hinoba-an Mayor Ernesto Estrao and Executive Assistant George Zulueta, who represented on behalf of Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia./DGB, WDJ