Monday, 11 November 2019 03:28

Ilocanos Undergo Rescue Training

Coast Guard District Northern Luzon rolled up its sleeves to rise up the challenge of teaching civilians about safe water rescue, the work it knows best. The 4-day training title water search and rescue (WaSAR) was sponsored by the LGU of Vigan City, Ilocos Sur and was participated in by twenty (20) rescue students from 29 July 01 august 2009.

There were four (4) basic modules which are basic swimming strokes. Life saving techniques, rubber boat operators and basic life support. Presentation materials and verbal instructions were mainly in Filipino or Ilocano which was truly appreciated by the students because it facilitated easy understanding on their part. The effort of the CDGNLZ training staff truly paid of as proven  the post training assessment by the LGUs and students that the training was conducted in a manner that is “non militarized ”and quite cheerful which contrary to their initial expectation, made learning all the more enjoyable and effective.

This is the third WaSAR training held within region1 over the years which has fortified the presence of coast guard trained water securers in Pangasinan, Ilocos Norte and now in Ilocos sur. The ideals for CDGNLZ to have “stand-by partners” at the level of the community during disaster emergency that can provide a swift response during the “golden hour” when casualties may still be rescued alive. Since it imparts capabilities to save lives it impowers local rescuers and coordination of response be easily established even prior to the arrival of responding SOG personnel in the area.

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Last August 2008, I led the delegation of Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary which attended the US Coast Guard Auxialiary’s annual National Convention in my new capacity as PCGA National Director. It was there, during the International Round Table discussion, that the US Coast Guard Auxiliary presented the task of forming an alliance of Search and Rescue Organizations in the Asia Pacific Region. COMMO Ray Campbell, National Commodore of the Australian Volunteer Coast Guard Association (AVCGA) and I, accepted the challenge and committed that we would try to form the alliance before the next USCGA National Convention in August 2009.

Three months after, on November 2008, being invited to attend the Australian Volunteer Coast Guard Association’s annual convention, I led four other flag officers to Brisbane, Australia. There we signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the AVCGA, similar to what we have with the USCGA. After the convention, we had a meeting where we agreed to organize an Asia Pacific conference tentatively to be held in February or March of 2009 in Manila, Philippines.

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The UPHSD College of Maritime Education is devising all measures to effectively assist its maritime cadets to enable them to undergo their on board training at the earliest possible time. 

While most cadets prefer to be accommodated on board international vessels for the conduct of their shipboard or on board training (OBT), domestic vessels likewise provide significant number of OBT berths for maritime cadets. 

While cadets are paid their allowances on board international vessels, cadets normally pay for the extra cost of board and lodging while undergoing shipboard training on board domestic vessels.

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Friday, 25 October 2019 04:43

Semper Superne Nitens

As it is told, the speed of the leader determines the rate of the pack! With a flamboyant and resolute Commandant, ADMIRAL Wilfredo D Tamayo, the Coast Guard Special Operations Group (CGSOG) could not afford to slow down. Its fleet of rubber boats is always warmed up and the legs of its frogmen are always in shape. Its distinguished lead officers are always on alert to receive direct instructions from the Fleet Commander or the Commandant himself.

Taking the cue from the innovative character of the Commandant, who seems to grasp fully well the two great laws of life: “Growth and Decay”, the CGSOG slowly restructure and comes up with dynamic innovations to showcase its relevance to the general public. On several occasions, the Commandant pointed out that the PCG has evolved into a multi-tasked, multi faceted and multi-roled organization. The changes or “growth” as we may consider of course are not mere capricious whims but rather natural forces adhered to, otherwise “decay” would engulf our organization. These pronouncements have inspired the Group to come up with its innovative programs and be critical with it coined and adopted motto “Semper Superne Nitens” which simply means “always striving upwards.

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The past and recent sea and disasters in the ACR of Coast Guard Station Surigao, particularly Dinagat-Surigao and approaches, and the less visibility of search and rescue units or at times the  delayed search and rescue operations by concerned agencies not to mention its limited assets and capability, prompted the need for an organization with local SEARCH AND RESCUE capability in the area. The idea was to have a search and rescue organization capable of rescue operations that would react first pending the arrival of assets from the government. Such idea was conceptualized between the coastguard in Surigao and the Surigao-Dinagat passenger motorbanca association  where its members are boat owners and operators in the area. With series of talks conducted for the idea, and finalization, the Surigao-Dinagat searchand rescue fleet was established through MOA between the  organizers and the PCG which was held on 11 December 2008. The signatories were ADMIRAL Wilfredo D Tamayo PCG, Commandant PCG and ENGR ROLDAN E LISONDRA representing Surigao Del Norte Motorized Banca Operators Association, Inc. with eighty four (84) motor banca members.

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On behalf of the Chairman of the Board and CEO, Dr./BGen.Antonio Laperal Tamayo, it is my distinct pleasure to welcome each and everyone of you to our Biñan campus which is one of the 9 campuses under the University of Perpetual Help System.

The Perpetualite Family is truly blessed and grateful to the Philippine Association of Maritime Institutions or PAMI, of course through its very capable President, Engr Felix Oca, and the other PAMI officers, Engineer Benito P Chiongbian, Vice President of R-NET NCR/Southern Luzon, Mr Sabino Czar C. Manglicmot II, PAMI’s Executive Vice President, and the member institutions’ Presidents, Deans, STOs, and Department Heads, for choosing Perpetual Biñan as the venue for this 2-day strategic programming.

We take comfort in the fact that under PAMI, our 2 maritime colleges in Las Piñas and Biñan campuses, together with the other maritime schools in our country today, are equipped with the necessary tools to cope with the policies, standards, and guidelines set by MARINA and CHED to enable Higher Maritime Education Institutions to achieve quality maritime education.

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We invite you to visit Coast Guard District Northern Luzon for yourself which sits on a vast 3,000 sqm land in the middle of a cove lined by lengthy mile of a fine beach sand and the quiet, pristine waters of the South China Sea. A stunning million-dollar view of the sunset is reward in itself after a long hot day.

It is home to 184 CG personnel and is located in San Fernando City, La Union. One can virtually find everything here from banks to resorts, malls, food chains, commercial establishments and entertainment facilities.

Coast Guard working in this District is dictated by the geography of Regions 1 and 2 which it covers. It guards the seven (7) provinces of Pangasinan, La Union, Ilocos Sur, Ilocos Nort, Cagayan, Batanes and Isabela. Natural features of these provinces are a common coastline which is lined by cities and municipalities. Many coastal dwellers are naturally fisher folks or have resorts as their means of earning a living. Unfortunately year-round unpredictable gale winds and seasonal tropical storms may wreak havoc to these tranquil lands. In existence also are long interlacing river systems that incidences of drowning are quite common. It is not surprising that folks here have witnessed, as seen televised, actual search and rescue operations conducted over the years. There are about 1 to 2 or more SAR operation per month because LGUs have come to depend on our search and rescue capabilities. Likewise, invitations to attend disaster-related preparedness and response conferences have steadily risen over the past months.

The nearness of Taiwan to Northern Luzon also poses a threat that distinctly belongs only to this District. Folks in Cagayan have become used to the inherent presence of lawless Taiwanese fishing vessels  involved in smuggling of goods, illegal fishing and poaching. The presence of MCS-3001, 3005 and 3006 water vessels in the area are our mighty front liners in the campaign to curb cited forms of maritime criminalities. On 12 and 15 May 2009, these MCS vessels were able to intercept two (2) of these Taiwanese fishing boats. TFB CHIN HONG CHEN and TZU FU TIEN  had on board 18 foreign nationals, charged with illegal fishing and poaching, a violation of RA 8550 (The Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998).

Recently, CGDNLZ played host to the first mobile training innovated by CGETC, MARSEC Class 10-09 which is a month-long course was held at the US-standard Training Facility of HCGDNLZ from 06 July to 07 August 2009. A total of 41 students, who are mostly assigned in this District, graduated during the commencement ceremony.

Where MAREP is concerned, again this District has been burdened by 4 incidences of coal spills. These incidents usually happens when coal-carrying barges making deliveries encounter tropical storms or gale winds while in transit to a port within the AOR. Industrial high-quality coals are materials needed by many power plants and cement factories situated in the provinces of Pangasinan and La Union, At present, PCG is providing security to a grounded barged APOL 3001 at the coast of Brgy Suso, Sta. Maria, Ilocos Sur. On preservation of mangroves, this District mandatory participates in all the seasonal tree-planting activities of the DENR.

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Friday, 11 October 2019 03:59

Passionate Coastguarding

During its 26th anniversary celebration in June 2009. Coast Guard District Western Visayas adopted seemingly “old-new” theme- passionate coastguarding. Old because “passion” is an oft-used word to describe something or someone of intensity, to the point of being a cliché. New because the word is not a favorite to describe or characterize a technical thing, more so a technical service that is engaged in the serious business of safety and security. But despite the lack of bravado, they are interesting and substantial words that one can live by.

As the Philippine Coast Guard celebrates its 108th founding anniversary, there is that compelling urge to visit those words anew. For the words seem to sound a theme good not only for one anniversary but for many anniversaries. It might even be a theme for “all seasons”.

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Wednesday, 09 October 2019 05:30

CG District Southern Tagalog: In Review

Coast Guard District Southern Tagalog (CGDSTL) is located in the fast rising economic center of the country where the Strong Republic Nautical Highway connects the five(5) major ports that ply the following routes: Batangas – Calapan; Batangas – Romblon; Batangas – Abra de Ilog; Roxas – Caticlan and Lucena – Marinduque. Through the years, the CGDSTL amidst the enormous responsibility at hand was able to perform its multifarious functions and address needs of the maritime community in the area of responsibility. In line with the Commandant’s COMPASS: Capacity Building Measures, Operating  Environment Awareness, Aggressive Training and Recruitment, Strategic Deployments and Visibility, Total Vigilance and Preparedness, Growth in Service and Support System, Unity of Action Through Partnership, Accountable Finance and Logistic System, Responsible Maritime Governance, Development of Doctrines and Maritime Regimes. Parallel to the program ensuring safer ships, cleaner seas and secure maritime environment, the following are the CGDSTL’S accomplishment for this year.

Capacity building initiatives. CGDSTL was able to facilitate the donation of a 30, 910 square meters or almost 3.1 hectare lot located at Sabang Point, Brgy Cajimos, Romblon from the local government of Romblon for the future PCG Maritime Search and Rescue Base Facility.

Through the initiative of the former District Commander Commodore Rodolfo Isorena PCG in coordination with Congressman Eleandro Jesus F. Madrona, District of Romblon, a 1.5 hectare of land was donated to the Philippine Coast Guard for the aforesaid purpose. The following year, an additional 15, 910 square meters of land was successfully negotiated to increase the boundaries for the SAR base Romblon.

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Few may choose to tread the long and narrow path but as the Bible tells us, it is the path that leads to something better and brighter. When first the PCG was separated from the PN, not many dared to cast their lots with it. What happened resonates deeply with the concept of maritime trade of olden days when a voyage is deemed an adventure redolent with risks and danger yet may unexpectedly turn into a highly profitable endeavor. The PCG experience is parallel to that part of maritime history. Yet it has now emerged successful in the gamble that it took 11 years ago. To date the PCG Bill or the law that seeks to not only update RA 5173 as amended but also to modernize and empower the Philippine Coast Guard has already reached 3rd reading in the Senate, thanks to the unanimous support of the Senate Committee on National Defense, Chaired by Sen. Rodolfo Biazon and the whole Philippine Senate. It has now been calendared to be presented in the bicameral session of Congress on November 2009.

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