Press Release
December 19, 2021

Gordon seeks to institutionalize auxiliary unit for Philippine Coast Guard

Senator Richard J. Gordon has pushed for the passage of a Senate measure institutionalizing the Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary (PCGA) to assist the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) during emergencies, especially in times of natural calamities.

Gordon filed Senate Bill (SB) 2265 creating PCGA as the citizen's arm of PCG tasked to assist the government during marine search and rescue operations and help counter the growing number of foreign vessels patrolling the West Philippine Sea.

"We need a force multiplier composed of Coast Guard's men from our folks, including our boat fishermen who ply the seas, who can tell us of the boat movements and especially during rescue operations," he said during his sponsorship speech.

"They could repel drug smugglers...[as] our thousands of fishermen who are incorporated with a modicum of training, at the very least they will become our eyes and ears for smugglers of drugs, of bad items from guns and cigarettes and stuff like that," he added. According to Gordon, having a service-oriented volunteer corps that primarily consists of fishermen could magnify the scope of the country's patrolling capabilities in its 7,600 islands.

The members or the PCGA, he explained, could serve as first responders to disasters, such as capsized vessels and people lost at sea, being able to respond to calls quickly, owing to their expertise in the adjacent waters.

Gordon, citing a similar situation with regards to the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) and its 2,000,000 volunteers which he heads, mentioned that the potential could immensely help the country's maritime capability.

"[It is] a super organization waiting to contribute to a great country. There will be more than enough enthusiasm to man this fleet and all it needs like the National Guard in America which started as a militia and was federalized, and used for state purposes," he pointed out.

Under SB 2265, the proposed institutionalization of PCGA shall be manned by the National Auxiliary Main Office (NAMO), Auxiliary District, Auxiliary Squadron, and Auxiliary Division, and will be supported by Auxiliary Support Groups.

The NAMO shall prescribe circumstances and qualifications under which members are recruited and advances, in accordance with the existing guidelines of the PCG under the Department of Transportation.

In times of threats to national security, the PCGA may be absorbed by the Department of National Defense to augment the country's naval force. They may also be used in helping maintain local peace and order, quell insurgency, and help residents in humanitarian missions.

At present, the PCGA is headed by the National Director (ND) assisted by two deputies, the Deputy National Director for Operations (DNDO) and the Deputy National Director for Administration (DNDA).

It has Auxiliary Districts and Squadrons under every regular Coast Guard District in the archipelago. The PCGA has about 20,000 Squadron members in 13 Districts located in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

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