The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on Wednesday said 10 personnel of its regional training center have been relieved for allegedly charging unauthorized fees to new recruits.
PCG spokesperson Rear Admiral Armand Balilo told GMA News Online that the rest of the staff of the regional training center have been reassigned to other units.
“Ten lang iyong relieved pending investigation. The rest reassigned sa ibang units (Only 10 personnel have been relieved pending investigation. The rest of the staff have been reassigned to other units),” he said in a text message.
Interviewed on Dobol B TV, Balilo said the PCG talked to the victims who complained about the unauthorized charges which reached P150,000.
“Noong malaman ito ni [PCG commandant Admiral Artemio Abu] three weeks ago ay ni-relieve po lahat ng tauhan ng regional training center at subject of investigation ngayon,” Balilo said.
(When PCG commandant Admiral Artemio Abu learned about this three weeks ago, all the staff of the regional training center were relieved and they are now the subject of investigation.)
Balilo pointed out that the PCG training is free and the government already allotted P43,000 for each new recruit.
Citing information from one of the victims who posted such concern online, Balilo said new recruits were asked for contributions and to pay for “extra uniforms” that are overpriced.
Due to the steep illegal fees, Balilo said some new recruits were forced to borrow money from lending institutions.
In separate cases, meanwhile, Balilo said the PCG also monitored fixers who were offering applicants a slot to become part of the agency.
According to him, some fixers have already been arrested and they are not connected with any PCG personnel. –Joviland Rita/ VAL, GMA Integrated News