In its 2018 budget, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) was given an increase of P6.2 billion and this is how they are spending the taxpayers’ money.

In its 17-minute video presentation titled, “PCG Modernization and Development—In Support of Maritime Security,” the maritime agency gave a rundown of what new “toys” in terms of firearms and maritime, land and even air assets that they have so far gained since the start of President Rodrigo Duterte’s term, and what has yet to come.

“The P6.2 billion increase in our (2018) budget, this is it. These new acquisitions and other planned acquisitions, this is where the money will go,” said PCG spokesperson Captain Armand Balilo.

For the last 20 years, the agency’s budget increase would only range from P150 million to P250 million but in year 2018, Congress allotted P12.5 billion to the PCG of which P6.2 billion alone would be used up for its capital outlay.

He admitted that this is the biggest amount that the Coast Guard has ever received to be spent for the procurement of its equipment, firearms and assets in all its 117 years of existence.

Protecting the vast territories of the Philippine archipelago from lawless elements and intruders, while at the same time expected to continue performing its other functions of conducting search and rescue (SAR) missions and maritime pollution, had made it necessary for the PCG to expand its fleet and improve its capability.

In fact, some Coast Guard officials led by its Commandant, Admiral Elson Hermogino, are going to France this July to witness the launching of the 82-meter offshore patrol vessel that would be named BRP Gabriela Silang and to be delivered to the PCG in December of this year. (More…)

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