May 17, 2024 People's Journal 111 views

SPEAKER Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez yesterday requested the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) to submit a comprehensive strategic modernization plan to the House of Representatives, which can be used as basis for allocating funds in annual budget deliberation of Congress.

Speaker Romualdez, a Commodore of PCG Auxiliary, said the plan must outline the necessary steps and resources required to enhance the Coast Guard’s capabilities, particularly for patrolling and safeguarding the Philippine territories in the contested areas of the West Philippine Sea.

Given the strategic importance of the West Philippine Sea and the ongoing territorial disputes, Speaker Romualdez emphasized the urgent need for Congress to understand and support the enhancement of the Coast Guard’s operational capacities.

“Our national security and sovereignty are paramount,” Speaker Romualdez, stated. “By ensuring that our Coast Guard is well-equipped and well-funded, we can better protect our territorial integrity against external threats and assert our sovereign rights in these contested waters.”

The House Leader noted that the requested plan should detail the current state of the PCG’s assets, projected needs for upgrades in vessels and equipment, training programs for personnel, and initiatives for regional cooperation and maritime law enforcement.

This document, he said, will serve as a basis for potential legislative actions aimed at supporting and funding these crucial enhancements.

“The House of Representatives is committed to backing the Philippine Coast Guard in its vital role. It’s not just about responding to immediate threats but also about maintaining a presence that underscores our commitment to national and regional security,” Speaker Romualdez pointed out.

This initiative, he said, is a part of the broader agenda of the Marcos administration to bolster national defense and regional stability, reflecting the legislative commitment to enhancing the Philippines’ defensive posture in the face of evolving maritime challenges.