The Philippine Coast Guard is expected to have an additional 4,000 personnel before the year ends, according to the PCG spokesperson on Saturday.
“Before the year ends this year, we’re also expected to have an additional 4,000, which will make the PCG 30,000 strong,” PCG spokesperson Commodore Jay Tarriela said at a media forum in Quezon City. Tarriela said the support of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. significantly boosted their capability and complemented the initiatives carried out by past administrations. “In the first year of the presidency of President Bongbong Marcos, he added an additional 4,000; that’s why we now have 26,000,” Tarriela said.
Tarriela also mentioned the need for a response base, the PCG Modernization Law, and berthing spaces for its vessels. He said that the Coast Guard is willing to accept additional funds from the government.
“If the legislators themselves choose to realign some of the budget from different sources, not just from one particular source that you mentioned, of course the PCG will also be happy to receive those realignments,” the PCG spokesperson said. Tarriela also welcomed the possibility of joint patrols with the United States Coast Guard. He then encouraged the Filipino fishermen conducting operations in the contested waters to report any untoward incident, saying that the PCG “is always ready to respond and support.”
“Naiintindihan po namin ang danger na nakaatang sa aming balikat (We understand the danger placed on our shoulders), and we still have that commitment that we are going to comply with the directive of the President that no square inch of our territory will be surrendered to any foreign power,” Tarriela said.
Marcos earlier said that the Philippines would not give up an inch of its territory and vowed to uphold its territorial integrity following China’s use of a military-grade laser against the PCG while on a resupply mission for Filipino troops stationed in Ayungin Shoal on February 6. — VBL, GMA Integrated News