Philippine Coast Guard sets massive recruitment in 2024

Evelyn Macairan - The Philippine Star
Philippine Coast Guard sets massive recruitment in 2024
Coast Guard District Southern Tagalog
Coast Guard District Southern Tagalog / Facebook page

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) intends to hire 4,000 additional personnel this 2024 to meet the growing demands in maritime security and in performing its other functions.

A “massive recruitment” is being eyed in order to bring the PCG closer to its target of having 100,000 Coast Guard personnel, PCG spokesperson Rear Admiral Armand Balilo told The STAR recently.

“The rationalization is for us to have three Coast Guardians for every one kilometer of coastline. The Philippines has an estimated 37,000 kilometers of coastline,” Balilo said. 

The PCG would need around 111,000 personnel for this. Balilo said they are hoping to reach their goal in 10 to 15 years.

Currently, there are only around 30,000 PCG personnel. 

The PCG’s main functions include maritime safety, security and law enforcement, conducting maritime search and rescue as well as marine environment protection.

In a statement, PCG commandant Admiral Ronnie Gil Gavan described 2023 as “challenging” for the PCG.

“This year, we have proven that we are professionals, that we would be more patient but very resolute in the way we manage the security requirements in the West Philippine Sea (WPS),” he said.

Gavan said it was also challenging for Coast Guardians because they had to manage the people’s expectations.

“The public wants us to be aggressive, but at the same time, our grander interest would require us to be more mature and professional,” he explained.

Coast Guard ships have provided escort in routine and resupply missions to the BRP Sierra Madre at Ayungin Shoal in the WPS and reportedly encountered aggression and risky maneuvers from Chinese vessels.

Last Dec. 1, the PCG inaugurated the new and upgraded Coast Guard Station Kalayaan Island Group in Pag-asa Island, Kalayaan, Palawan.

“This building is indeed very symbolic for me. This symbolizes our enduring commitment to keep improving and doing our share in our nation’s collective action to secure our territories and jurisdiction. To keep what is ours according to the law,” he said.

“As our fellow Filipinos step foot on Pag-asa Island, we hope this experience will promote the spirit of patriotism and inspire them to stand with us in safeguarding the country’s territory, sovereignty, and sovereign rights within our exclusive economic zones,” he added.

In 2023, the maritime agency also received, responded to, and coordinated more than 1,200 maritime incident reports and rescued approximately 5,500 individuals nationwide.

“The PCG remains firm on its resolve towards responsible governance of our seas — that is, we go after offenders but also render aid to all users of the sea within our maritime zones,” the commandant said.

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