Press Release
December 18, 2023

Gatchalian files bill seeking to modernize Philippine Coast Guard amid continuing tensions in West Philippine Sea

Senator Win Gatchalian filed a bill seeking to modernize the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) amid continuing tensions with China in the West Philippine Sea.

Senate Bill 2516, which if enacted into law will be known as the PCG Modernization Act, will provide for a modernization program that aims to enhance PCG's assets and facilities, bolster its capabilities, and strengthen the effective implementation of its mandate under Republic Act 9993 or the Philippine Coast Guard Law.

Specifically, the bill aims to develop a more mobile and visible coast guard force that will establish its vision of a "world-class guardian of the sea" by 2025, acquire and upgrade appropriate technology and equipment, and strategically improve and construct bases, installations, and other PCG facilities.

"It cannot be overemphasized that the PCG plays a crucial role in the country's pursuit of ensuring maritime safety and security, environmental protection and search, rescue, and disaster response," Gatchalian said, noting worsening tensions between Manila and Beijing over the latter's continuing incursions into the Philippine waters.

"With the advent of various maritime issues currently faced by the country from maritime disasters and incidents such as oil spills, ship collisions, and grounding to ongoing harassment in the West Philippine Sea, there is a need to continuously modernize and enhance the capabilities of the PCG to respond to all these incidents effectively," he added.

The proposed measure also provides for the creation of the PCG Modernization Trust Fund, which shall be allocated an initial amount of P1 billion. "Given the vast expanse of the country's maritime domain, it is imperative that our government provides the necessary support to have a responsive and well-equipped PCG with enhanced technical and legal capabilities in maritime safety, maritime security, maritime search and rescue, maritime law enforcement, and maritime environmental protection to ensure our maritime presence," Gatchalian emphasized.

According to him, the proposed measure is intended to enhance the PCG's capability in upholding the sovereignty, territorial integrity, and sovereign rights of the country, ensuring the safety and security of its maritime domain against all forms of maritime incidents and transnational crimes, among others.


Panukalang batas na naglalayong gawing moderno ang Philippine Coast Guard inihain ni Gatchalian

Naghain si Senator Win Gatchalian ng panukalang batas na naglalayong gawing moderno ang Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) sa gitna ng patuloy na tensyon sa West Philippine Sea.

Ang Senate Bill 2516, na kung magiging batas ay tatawagin bilang PCG Modernization Act, ay maglalaan ng modernization program na naglalayong pagandahin ang mga pasilidad ng PCG, palakasin ang kakayahan nito, at paigtingin ang epektibong pagpapatupad ng mandato nito sa ilalim ng Republic Act 9993 o Philippine Coast Guard Law.

Sa naturang panukalang batas, nais ng senador na makilala ang PCG bilang "world-class guardian of the sea" pagdating ng 2025 na mayroong makabagong teknolohiya at mga equipment.

"Malaki ang papel na ginagampanan ng Philippine Coastguard upang matiyak ang kaligtasan at seguridad ng ating teritoryong pandagat, masiguro ang environmental protection, at mabilis na makatugon sa anumang panganib o aksidente sa dagat," sabi ni Gatchalian, kasunod ng lumalalang tensyon sa pagitan ng Pilipinas at China sa West Philippine Sea.

"Sa gitna ng iba't ibang insidente ng maritime disasters na kinakaharap ng bansa tulad na lang ng makailang beses na oil spill, banggaan ng mga barko, at pangha-harass na tinatanggap ng PCG mula sa Coast Guard ng China, kailangan nang gawing moderno ang PCG at pahusayin ang mga kakayahan nito na tumugon sa lahat ng mga insidente sa dagat," dagdag niya.

Ang panukala ni Gatchalian ay magtatatag din ng PCG Modernization Trust Fund na kailangang may paunang pondong P1 bilyon. "Dahil sa malawak na saklaw ng maritime domain ng bansa, kinakailangan na ang ating gobyerno ay magbigay ng kaukulang suporta sa PCG at gawin itong well-equipped para sa maritime safety, maritime security, maritime search and rescue, maritime law enforcement, at maritime environmental protection," sabi ni Gatchalian.

Ayon sa kanya, ang panukala ay naglalayong pahusayin ang kakayahan ng PCG sa pagtataguyod ng soberanya, territorial integrity, at sovereign rights ng bansa, pagtiyak ng kaligtasan at seguridad ng maritime domain nito laban sa lahat ng anyo ng maritime incidents at transnational crimes, bukod sa iba pa.

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