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Monday, July 15, 2024

Gatchalian eyes stronger Coast Guard in proposal to revise PCG Law

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Citing the continuing aggression of Chinese vessels in the West Philippine Sea (WPS), Senator Sherwin Gatchalian has filed a bill to reform, reorganize, and strengthen the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).

Under his Senate Bill No. 2650, Gatchalian intends to repeal Republic Act 9993, also known as the Philippine Coast Guard Law of 2009, and replace it with the Revised Philippine Coast Guard Law.

The proposed measure seeks to enhance the organizational structure of the PCG and enable it to attract qualified personnel.

“It aims to better equip the coast guard to fulfill its mandate, considering the importance of having a well-mannered and responsive institution to meet regional and international challenges related to the maritime jurisdiction of the Philippines,” read Gatchalian’s bill.

The senator noted that gaps in the organizational structure, administration, and ensuring personnel welfare have negatively impacted PCG operations.

“For one, RA 9993 is silent on the benefits of both uniformed and non-uniformed personnel of PCG given the transfer from the Philippine Navy to the Department of Transportation,” he said.

The PCG, initially established as a major unit of the Philippine Army in 1967, transitioned to civilian administration, moving from the Office of the President to the Department of Transportation in 1998.

Earlier, Gatchalian filed Senate Bill 2516 or the PCG Modernization Act to modernize the PCG.

It also aims to enhance PCG’s assets and facilities and bolster its capabilities. The proposed measure seeks to develop a more mobile and visible coast guard force that will establish its vision to become a world-class guardian of the sea by 2025. 

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