US, Philippine Coast Guard open maritime training facility in Bulacan
A new maritime training facility for the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) was unveiled in Bulacan on Monday morning.
A press release by the United States Embassy in the Philippines said the Outboard Motor Center of Excellence was jointly revealed by the United States and the Philippines in a ceremony in Balagtas, Bulacan.
“U.S. Embassy in the Philippines Deputy Chief of Mission John C. Law, Commandant of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Admiral Elson E. Hermogino, and Deputy Director of the Joint Interagency Task Force-West (JIATF-W) Earl Hampton, and Commodore Jose William U. Isaga, Commander of PCG Weapons, Communications, Electronics and Information System Service, participated in ribbon cuttings for the new facility’s barracks and outboard motor classroom,” the embassy said.
According to the embassy the new facility is “consists of a classroom, a barracks, and an outboard motor maintenance lab.”
“The U.S. government funded the P39 million facility, which will enhance the Philippine Coast Guard’s capacity to train its workforce and sustain its equipment,” it noted.
“Funded by the JIATF-W, the Outboard Motor Center of Excellence is a joint project between the PCG, U.S. Coast Guard, the JIATF-W, the Joint U.S. Military Assistance Group (JUSMAG), and the U.S. Department of State Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs. The facility was built under a local contract managed by the U.S. Naval Facilities Engineering Command,” it added.
In his remarks, Hermogino emphasized the importance of the training facility.
“This project is a milestone in our effort to enhance PCG operations. It is one of the important missions in addressing the training requirements of the organization,” he said.
“This endeavor has provided the foundation [for future training] while improving our personnel learning culture,” he added.
Captain Armando Balilo, PCG spokesman, said the Coast Guard has a total of 300 aluminum boats and 50 rubber boats with outboard motors in its inventory deployed nationwide.
“The PCG frontline units rely heavily on these aluminum and rubber boats in fulfilling its mandate. These assets are primarily used in the coastal law enforcement patrol, search and rescue and monitoring environmental laws compliance,” he said.
“Last year, at least 40 PCG personnel were sent to US Coast Guard Training School in Virginia to undergo different shipboard courses to include training on the maintenance of outboard motors. For this year, the US Government will place a mobile training team inside the training facility in Bulacan to train qualified PCG personnel to become instructors,” he added. Robina Asido/DMS