Aquino leads PCG change of command

December 14, 2012 11:03 pm 

MANILA, Dec. 14 — President Benigno S. Aquino III led Friday the change of command in the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), challenging the new commandant to continue the positive thrusts of his predecessor.

Rear Admiral Rodolfo Isorena assumed on Friday as the new commandant of the PCG, replacing Vice Admiral Edmund Tan.

The turnover of command rites marks the beginning of a new page in the history of Philippine Coast Guard, the President said in his speech during the event at the PCG’s headquarters at Port Area, Manila.

“Kay Rear Admiral Isorena: Huwag mong sasayangin ang mga repormang ipinunla ng iyong mga sinundan. Suklian mo ng tapat na paglilingkod ang tiwalang kaloob sa iyo, hindi lang ng Tanod Baybayin ng Pilipinas, kundi ng sambayanan,” he said.

“Lagi mo sanang tatandaan na ang iyong pagkakatalaga ay hindi pribilehiyo, kundi isang tungkuling may kaakibat na responsibilidad. Nakasalalay sa lakas ng iyong bawat tauhan ang kabuuang lakas ng Coast Guard. Dapat mo silang alagaan; dapat mong pakinggan ang kanilang mga problema,”

The Chief Executive said that Isorena should treat every PCG personnel as a member of the PCG family, noting that their “bosses,” the Filipino expect to fulfill his duties effectively.

The President also expressed his gratitude to Vice Admiral Tan, that despite his 11-month stint in the PCG, he has accomplished a lot. Tan performed well even during challenging situations to protect the country’s territory, fight crime and ensure the safety of people at sea, the President said.

He also thanked the entire PCG for performing its duties. The President praised the PCG for its successful operations during the Philippine-China standoff in Bajo de Masinloc.

“Sa kabila ng mga banta’t panganib, napanatili ng Coast Guard, hindi lamang ang seguridad at kaayusan sa ating teritoryong pandagat; naipaabot din ninyo sa ibang mga bansa na hangga’t nasa katwiran tayo, handang ipaglaban ng Pilipino ang tunay na pag-aari ng Pilipino,” he said.

The PCG has effectively pushed the government’s campaign against human trafficking, illicit drugs and arms trade as well as transnational crimes, he said.

Since January 2012, the PCG conducted 230 maritime law enforcement and security operations that resulted to the arrest of 237 individuals. It also intercepted 65 sea vessels being used for illegal activities. In addition, the PCG also confiscated more than P233 million of smuggled goods, the chief executive said.

To make the PCG more effective in doing its job, the President said the NEDA board approved last month P8.8 billion allocation for the purchase of 10 units of 40-meter Multi-role Response Vessels.

“Inaasan po na mas aangat ang antas ng serbisyo ng mga Tanod Baybayin; mas dadami ang mailalayo sa mga sakuna’t peligro; at sa dulo nito, mas panalo at mas ligtas ang sambayanang Pilipino,” he said.

The new PCG commandant is a graduate of the Philippine Military Academy, coming from the Sandigan Class of 1982. A native of Virac, Catanduanes, Isorena was commissioned as ensign in the Philippine Navy in 1982 and was assigned at the PCG in 1993.

He also studied here and abroad while at the PCG. He has degrees and trainings in Sweden, the US, Japan, and Denmark.

Among the awards and citations he received while in the PCG include the Coast Guard Legion of Honors, Distinguished Service Medals, Outstanding Achievement Medal, and Gawad Kaunlaran Medals.

Joining the President during Friday’s event were Transportation and Communications Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya and Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. (PNA)

RMA/PCOO/SSC

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