SUBIC BAY FREEPORT - The biggest convention in the history of the Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary (PCGA) was held here at the Subic Bay Exhibition and Convention Center recently with more than 1,000 delegates from various PCGA districts and squadrons nationwide in attendance.
PCGA’s 32nd national convention, which also featured the 1st PCGA Exhibit, was hosted by Coast Guard Auxiliary District National Capital Region-Central Luzon (CGADNCR-CL) headed by its director Commodore Salvador Tiangco Jr.
PCGA national director Vice Admiral Valentin Prieto Jr. and deputies RAdm. Hilarion Dimagiba and RAdm. Geronimo Reyes also graced the convention along with PCG commandant RAdmiral William Melad, PCG District NCR-CL commander and PCG deputy commandant Comm. Athello Iban~ez.
Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Chairman Roberto Garcia was also a guest in the event, along with Las Pin~as Rep. Cynthia Villar and DoTC USec Jualianito Bocayan Jr. who both were later inducted as honorary officers of the PCGA.
In welcoming the delegates, SBMA Chairman Garcia congratulated the PCGA officers and cited the partnership between PCGA and SBMA in protecting the environment, rescue operations and disaster management.
“Our beautiful and well-preserved environment is the major asset of our tourism industry, and protecting the environment in the Freeport is one of the common areas where the PCGA provides its support,” Garcia added.
The PCGA’s 111th Auxiliary Squadron is composed mostly of SBMA employees led by SBMA deputy administrator Randy Escolango, who is also director of the PCGA auxiliary squadron with the rank of captain.
The PCGA is a service-oriented, uniformed, voluntary organization whose membership adheres to the Philippine Coast Guard's (PCG) customs and traditions, and whose organizational structure is parallel to PCG.
The PCGA holds its convention annually among its members from 12 districts all over the country to serve as venue to review the previous year’s performance and further develop strategies aimed at helping the PCG accomplish its mission in promoting safety of life and properties at sea, and protecting the marine environment.
While this year’s convention was highlighted with the turn-over of leadership and management to the new national director, it also focused on its mission of protecting life, property and the environment.
In his speech as guest of honor, Bocayan urged the PCGA members to start drafting mitigation plans to help lessen the effect of climate change in the country, especially in the coastal areas and lowlands which are vulnerable to severe flooding during rainy seasons.
“We experienced the hottest temperature in the history last April. We must act now to improve efforts on climate change and the humid climate ahead,” he said.
Bocayan also noted that the Philippine Coast Guard has already acquired additional 10 vessels to be used for disaster response and relief operations, adding that more equipment are already in the pipeline. (30)