GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/16 May) — The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) has deployed seven additional patrol boats to its units here and nearby Sarangani Province to augment its coastal watch operations and other related activities in the area.
Lt. Jay Tarriela, commander of the PCG station here, said the new patrol boats were part of the fleet acquired earlier this year by the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) in connection with the PCG’s continuing modernization program.
He said the seven aluminum boats were equipped with 40-horse power outboard motor and basic patrol accessories.
Five of them were released to the PCG sub-station in Glan town in Sarangani while the two others were assigned to its main station at the Makat port here, he said.
“We’ll be using these boats for our regular patrol operations and for emergency cases like search and rescue,” Tarriela said.
The official said the deployment of the new patrol boats has mainly improved their operational capability, especially in terms of mobility within the Sarangani Bay and nearby coastal waters.
He said the boats were designed for various uses, including rapid response operations in times of calamities and disasters.
Tarriela said they will help expedite their operations related to the protection of the area’s marine resources and law enforcement.
“These boats will specifically help deter various illegal activities at sea, including illegal fishing,” he said.
The DOTC and the PCG earlier pushed for the acquisition and deployment of the aluminum patrol boats to help boost the efficiency and the effectiveness of PCG stations and sub-stations in the country.
Such move forms part of the agency’s modernization and capability development plan that was endorsed by President Benigno S. Aquino III.
Tarriela added that the deployment of the boats was a significant gesture to inspire PCG personnel in the area to diligently perform their mandates in ensuring “safe, clean and secure maritime environment for the people.” (MindaNews)