Coast Guard, US agencies open training facility in Bulacan

By Manny Balbin

February 11, 2019, 6:57 pm

BALAGTAS, Bulacan -- The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), together with its partners, inaugurated on Monday a PHP156-million training facility in this town that will boost the agency's capacity to train and sustain its personnel and equipment.

The facility is a joint project between the PCG, US Coast Guard, the Joint Interagency Task Force-West (JIATF-W), Joint US Military Assistance Group (JUSMAG), and the US Department of State Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs.

Admiral Elson Hermogino, PCG commandant, said the construction of the outboard motor center training facility is part of its capability building and stands on the Philippine Coast Guard Relay Station in this town dubbed as the Balagtas Project.

"The facility embraces the current trend in maritime competency and provides hands on training and at the same time, familiarizes the trainees on related theories on outboard motor repairs," Hermogino said.

The outboard motor center is seen to enhance PCG’s capacity to train and sustain its workforce and equipment. It was built under a local contract managed by the US Naval Facilities Engineering Command.

The PCG has in its inventory 300 aluminum boats and 50 rubber boats with outboard motors, which are deployed nationwide.

The PCG frontline units rely heavily on these aluminum and rubber boats in fulfilling their mandate.

These assets are primarily used in coastal law enforcement patrol, search and rescue and monitoring environmental laws compliance.

Last year, at least 40 PCG personnel were sent to the 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. (PNA)