MANILA – Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Amenah Pangandaman on Friday expressed full support for the Philippine Coast Guard’s (PCG) modernization program to improve the agency’s capabilities to better protect the country’s maritime domain.
In taking her oath as the newest appointed high-ranking member of the Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary (PCGA), Pangandaman vowed to help the PCG’s mission by supporting the proposed modernization program, which entails not only the acquisition of top-of-the-line assets and equipment but also building the capacity and expansion of its workforce.
The PCGA serves as a support force to the PCG in ensuring to save lives and property at sea, the preservation of the marine environment, the conduct of maritime search and rescue, the maintenance of aids to navigation, recreational safety and other activities involving maritime relations.
“Hindi biro ang ating trabaho, pero dahil tayo ay nangako sa bawat Pilipino, dapat lang na mapagyaman pa ang ating kakayanan at maging mas handa tayong gampanan ang ating responsibilidad (Our job is not easy, but since we made a commitment to every Filipino, we ought to enhance our capabilities and be ready to fulfill our responsibilities),” she said.
“Rest assured the DBM is one with you in the realization of your vision to become a world-class guardian of the sea committed to saving lives, ensuring maritime transport and securing maritime jurisdiction,” she added.
Pangandaman took her oath as Auxiliary Rear Admiral of the PCGA Executive Squadron on board one of PCG’s largest ships, the BRP Melchora Aquino, with PCG Commandant Admiral Artemio Abu presiding over the donning and oath-taking ceremony.
According to the PCG, this was the first time that the unit conferred a two-star general rank to a woman upon entry.
PCG Commandant Admiral Artemio Abu thanked the newest batch of the PCGA, led by Secretary Pangandaman, for choosing the PCG as their vehicle for volunteer work and for appreciating the agency’s cause.
“Their heavy workload did not stop them from seizing this opportunity to serve the nation more. This is what volunteerism and nation-building are all about: individuals, regardless of their title, social status, religion, or age, doing what they can to look after other members of the community,” Abu said.
Part of the event was the conferment of the Civil Action Award to Pangandaman and DBM Undersecretary Goddes Hope Libiran, who is also an active member of the PCGA with the rank of Auxiliary Commodore.
The award was presented for the services they rendered in the medical and dental mission at the Dela Paz Norte, San Fernando, Pampanga which attended to 700 individuals. (PNA)