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THE 25TH PCGA NATIONAL CONVENTION IN BACOLOD CITY

Last 21-23 May 2009, the 25th PCGA Annual National Convention was held at Bacolod Pavilion Resort Hotel, Bacolod City. The said National Convention was attended by about 400 PCGA volunteers, 10 Coast Guard District Commanders, CG Major Unit Commanders and some HPCG Central and Special Staff. The Honorable DOTC Secretary Larry R Mendoza was the Guest of Honor during the Opening Ceremony while Senator Francis Escudero and Congressman Monico Puntabella were the invited resource speakers of the convention. The theme of the convention was “A New ERA of Commitment and Unity”

The following are some important outputs of the just concluded PCGA Annual National Convention a) Resolutions for the establishment of Maritime Search and Rescue Unit, Marine Environmental Protection Unit, Maritime Safety Unit, and Community Relations Unit in every PCGA District; b) Resolution for the Approval of the Amendments of 2008 PCGA Manual c) Signing of the Memorandum of Agreement between the PCGA and the PLS or Philippine Life Saving, Inc. and; d) the launching of the CGADWV PCGA Training Manual, Indoctrination Manual, and Sea Scout Manual.

The UPHSD College of Maritime Education is devising all measures to effectively assist its maritime cadets to enable them to undergo their on board training at the earliest possible time. 

While most cadets prefer to be accommodated on board international vessels for the conduct of their shipboard or on board training (OBT), domestic vessels likewise provide significant number of OBT berths for maritime cadets. 

While cadets are paid their allowances on board international vessels, cadets normally pay for the extra cost of board and lodging while undergoing shipboard training on board domestic vessels.

Bureau of Immigration (BI) officers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) recently barred from entering the country a Taiwanese fugitive wanted in his country for business fraud. In a report to Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente, Bureau of Immigration port operations division chief Grifton Medina identified the Taiwanese as 70-year-old Miao Jwu-Yi, who was intercepted September 30 at the NAIA 1 terminal upon his arrival from Hongkong. Medina said Miao was apprehended after his name registered a hit in the Bureau of Immigration’s database of blacklisted foreigners with derogatory records.

He was flown to Taipei the following day, together with his escorts from the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in Manila, Medina added. TECO officials said Miao was convicted and sentenced to more than four years in prison in 2017 for violating Taiwan’s Business Entity Accounting Act. The said act prescribes the code of conduct and rules of practice for Taiwan’s accountants and provides penalties for violators. Miao reportedly went into hiding and fled Taiwan upon learning of his conviction, prompting the district prosecutor’s office in Taipei to issue a warrant for his arrest. Atty. Rommel Tacorda, the BI’s border control and intelligence unit (BCIU) chief, disclosed that prior to his flight, Miao was issued a single-use travel document by TECO because the Taiwanese government had earlier cancelled his passport. “He remains in our blacklist, thus he will be barred again from entering our country if he attempts to return in the future,” Tacorda said.

 

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As it is told, the speed of the leader determines the rate of the pack! With a flamboyant and resolute Commandant, ADMIRAL Wilfredo D Tamayo, the Coast Guard Special Operations Group (CGSOG) could not afford to slow down. Its fleet of rubber boats is always warmed up and the legs of its frogmen are always in shape. Its distinguished lead officers are always on alert to receive direct instructions from the Fleet Commander or the Commandant himself.

Taking the cue from the innovative character of the Commandant, who seems to grasp fully well the two great laws of life: “Growth and Decay”, the CGSOG slowly restructure and comes up with dynamic innovations to showcase its relevance to the general public. On several occasions, the Commandant pointed out that the PCG has evolved into a multi-tasked, multi faceted and multi-roled organization. The changes or “growth” as we may consider of course are not mere capricious whims but rather natural forces adhered to, otherwise “decay” would engulf our organization. These pronouncements have inspired the Group to come up with its innovative programs and be critical with it coined and adopted motto “Semper Superne Nitens” which simply means “always striving upwards.

Restructuring and Reorganizing the SOG. The need for reorganization in the Philippine Coast Guard was best detailed in the manuscript entitled “PCG Rationalization for CY-2007” There, the Secretary of DOTC signed a memorandum which serves as the guidelines to effect the rationalization plan of the PCG organization and TOE. Laid down as its basis, the Executive Order No. 366 dated October 2004, a presidential directive for all agencies of the Executive Branch to review respective mandates, missions, objectives, functions, programs, projects, systems and procedures and identifying areas for improvement within Departments and government agencies. In line with this, the CGSOG submitted a Three (3) Year Master Plan for CY 2009-2011, an aggressive but doable master plan focusing primarily on improving organizational structure and the needed facilities and equipment for the Group.

The Group has identified four major areas of concerns were it is expected to deliver, these are; Search and Rescue, Counter-Terrorism, Explosive Ordinance Disposal, and Training. These major areas of concerns are the primordial factors that will particularly in TRAINING and EQUIPMENT enhancement.

In summary, the restructuring and reorganization sought by this Group includes; a) upgrading of SOG detachments to Special Operations Unit (SOU); b) creation of Type Units (EOD, SARU, SOG School) to cater on the four major areas of concerns following the creation of the CG Anti-Terrorism Unit as Counter Terrorism Unit as Counter Terrorist Focused Group; c) Career Pattern for Officer’s and EP; d) Policy on the Utilization and Deployment of CGSOG personnel; e) Doctrines Development on SOG operations.

The desired facility and equipage recommended to be included in the PCG Plans and Programs are the following: a) billeting, training site, bomb storage, slip way; b) Basic Diving Equipment; c) Deep Diving Systems; d) Underwater Communications; e) Counter-Terrorism Equipment; f) EOD Equipment; g) SAR equipment; h) Mobility for Both land and water.

Innovative Program. As the motto suggests, the CGSOG would like to pursue other technical skills related to deep diving such as use of surface supplied diving system, nitrox diving, and tri-mixed gas and intensive rescue course. These are just among the innovative programs from the Group aggressively pursues. This also includes compliance to RA 1792 which calls for integration of women as equal partners of men in nation building. Thus, the SOG now opens its door for female counter parts to train for projected Rescue Diver Course. Formal requests for training on airborne, sniper course and the female rescue divers course are already on process. Underwater works such as welding, thickness gauging, and hull inspection were  also considered for possible specialized training. The chief program initiator for most of this innovative project is the Deputy Commander of the Group.

In a jest, the words “always striving upwards” does not only connotes keeping ones head afloat in order not to drown oneself in survival swimming, but more importantly, in its deepest sense, your Coast Guard SOG selected the motto foremost express its aspiration for reform efficiency and better service to the public. It aims to advocate among its members that unrelenting passion to always strive to be the best, either individually or even working as a small team during actual operations. It seeks to develop a culture of excellence among the “Frogs Family”.

Other than the usual HOOYAHH, the CGSOG will now will now chant “Semper Superne Nitens”!!!

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Bureau of Immigration (BI) Commissioner Jaime Morente identified the alien as 71-year-old Katsumi Ohno, who was arrested last Sept. 30 along the service road in Roxas Blvd., Pasay City by members of the bureau’s fugitive search unit (FSU). Morente said the arresting agents were armed with a warrant of deportation which he signed pursuant to a deportation order that the Bureau of Immigration board of commissioners issued against the Japanese on June 20, 2019.

Ohno’s deportation was reportedly sought by the Japanese embassy last February when it informed the Bureau of Immigration about a standing arrest warrant for fraud that a Japanese court issued against him. “We also learned that his passport already expired in November last year, making him an undocumented alien,” Morente said. He added that Ohno has been included in the immigration blacklist to prevent him from returning to the Philippines. Investigation also revealed that Ohno has been hiding in the country for nine years or since April 10, 2011 when he arrived as a tourist via a flight from Hongkong. Ohno is currently detained at the Bureau of Immigration jail in Bicutan, Taguig City.

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The past and recent sea and disasters in the ACR of Coast Guard Station Surigao, particularly Dinagat-Surigao and approaches, and the less visibility of search and rescue units or at times the  delayed search and rescue operations by concerned agencies not to mention its limited assets and capability, prompted the need for an organization with local SEARCH AND RESCUE capability in the area. The idea was to have a search and rescue organization capable of rescue operations that would react first pending the arrival of assets from the government. Such idea was conceptualized between the coastguard in Surigao and the Surigao-Dinagat passenger motorbanca association  where its members are boat owners and operators in the area. With series of talks conducted for the idea, and finalization, the Surigao-Dinagat searchand rescue fleet was established through MOA between the  organizers and the PCG which was held on 11 December 2008. The signatories were ADMIRAL Wilfredo D Tamayo PCG, Commandant PCG and ENGR ROLDAN E LISONDRA representing Surigao Del Norte Motorized Banca Operators Association, Inc. with eighty four (84) motor banca members.

Then in 2008, Surigao-Dinagat SAR fleet with more or less 100 members is composed of the motorbanca association plying the area and approaches including Siargao islands. This SAR fleet was conceived and organized by CGS Surigao in October 2008 in anticipation of the typhoon season that generally comes in the last and first quarter of the year, Its major purpose is to organize a group of motorboats volunteers-operators to be trained and ultimately be tapped during SAR operations

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) announced the deployment of 67 newly-hired immigration officers to the country's international airports after graduating on Wednesday, October 2. According to Bureau of Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente, this is part of the agency's continuous efforts to improve its services to the travelling public. "The graduation of the officers is timed prior to the projected influx of passenger in the airport in the next few months for the upcoming South East Asian Games, and at the same time as the holiday rush begins," Morente said.

Morente said that the new recruits underwent the Border Control Officers Module (BCOM), a six-month long training designed to teach immigration laws, rules, and procedures. "The 67 graduates, which consist of 38 females and 29 males, were divided into two classes. They began training at the Philippine Immigration Academy in Clark Pampanga last April. After three months, they were assigned at the airports and the Bureau of Immigration's main office for another three months as on-the-job trainees," Morente said. Morente further shared that aside from the usual lectures, it is the first time that they have included Disaster and Emergency Preparedness Response seminar in the program. "This kind of training adheres with the changing times. We want our officers to be fully prepared in the field even during emergency situations," he said. The Bureau's Port Operations Division (POD) Chief Grifton Medina likewise disclosed that as part of their continuous effort to address the problem of congestion in our airports, all graduates have signed a lock-in contract with the POD stating that they will be deployed in our ports for a minimum of two years. "We want the concept of genuine public service to be inculcated in our front-liners. We need them to be committed mentally and physically to the job," Medina added.

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On behalf of the Chairman of the Board and CEO, Dr./BGen.Antonio Laperal Tamayo, it is my distinct pleasure to welcome each and everyone of you to our Biñan campus which is one of the 9 campuses under the University of Perpetual Help System.

The Perpetualite Family is truly blessed and grateful to the Philippine Association of Maritime Institutions or PAMI, of course through its very capable President, Engr Felix Oca, and the other PAMI officers, Engineer Benito P Chiongbian, Vice President of R-NET NCR/Southern Luzon, Mr Sabino Czar C. Manglicmot II, PAMI’s Executive Vice President, and the member institutions’ Presidents, Deans, STOs, and Department Heads, for choosing Perpetual Biñan as the venue for this 2-day strategic programming.

We take comfort in the fact that under PAMI, our 2 maritime colleges in Las Piñas and Biñan campuses, together with the other maritime schools in our country today, are equipped with the necessary tools to cope with the policies, standards, and guidelines set by MARINA and CHED to enable Higher Maritime Education Institutions to achieve quality maritime education.

The 2019 R-NET NCR/ Southern Luzon Strategic Programming is part of that journey to generate our combined and desired output.

We are all part of this prestigious Association which is guided by our burning passion for competence and excellence in maritime education. This passion helps us build and sustain the much needed unity, pride,honor, love, and respect for the maritime profession. In its 50 years of existence, PAMI has already seen a lot of action. PAMI has been instrumental in helping maintain the Philippine position in the IMO white list, particularly compliance to the Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping for Seafarers. Indeed, PAMI has become one of the maritime schools’ lifelines whenever the going gets tough.

During the next few months, we will be learning about the different initiatives through PAMI’s planned activities, seminars, and special events where maritime schools can share their expertise, strategies, and hands on experiences.

Through PAMI, maritime schools work together as a team to help ensure that the Filipino seafarers will continue to be called the “seafarers of choice”worldwide.

Once again, welcome aboard, and thank you to all of you for coming.

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We invite you to visit Coast Guard District Northern Luzon for yourself which sits on a vast 3,000 sqm land in the middle of a cove lined by lengthy mile of a fine beach sand and the quiet, pristine waters of the South China Sea. A stunning million-dollar view of the sunset is reward in itself after a long hot day.

It is home to 184 CG personnel and is located in San Fernando City, La Union. One can virtually find everything here from banks to resorts, malls, food chains, commercial establishments and entertainment facilities.

Coast Guard working in this District is dictated by the geography of Regions 1 and 2 which it covers. It guards the seven (7) provinces of Pangasinan, La Union, Ilocos Sur, Ilocos Nort, Cagayan, Batanes and Isabela. Natural features of these provinces are a common coastline which is lined by cities and municipalities. Many coastal dwellers are naturally fisher folks or have resorts as their means of earning a living. Unfortunately year-round unpredictable gale winds and seasonal tropical storms may wreak havoc to these tranquil lands. In existence also are long interlacing river systems that incidences of drowning are quite common. It is not surprising that folks here have witnessed, as seen televised, actual search and rescue operations conducted over the years. There are about 1 to 2 or more SAR operation per month because LGUs have come to depend on our search and rescue capabilities. Likewise, invitations to attend disaster-related preparedness and response conferences have steadily risen over the past months.

The nearness of Taiwan to Northern Luzon also poses a threat that distinctly belongs only to this District. Folks in Cagayan have become used to the inherent presence of lawless Taiwanese fishing vessels  involved in smuggling of goods, illegal fishing and poaching. The presence of MCS-3001, 3005 and 3006 water vessels in the area are our mighty front liners in the campaign to curb cited forms of maritime criminalities. On 12 and 15 May 2009, these MCS vessels were able to intercept two (2) of these Taiwanese fishing boats. TFB CHIN HONG CHEN and TZU FU TIEN  had on board 18 foreign nationals, charged with illegal fishing and poaching, a violation of RA 8550 (The Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998).

Recently, CGDNLZ played host to the first mobile training innovated by CGETC, MARSEC Class 10-09 which is a month-long course was held at the US-standard Training Facility of HCGDNLZ from 06 July to 07 August 2009. A total of 41 students, who are mostly assigned in this District, graduated during the commencement ceremony.

Where MAREP is concerned, again this District has been burdened by 4 incidences of coal spills. These incidents usually happens when coal-carrying barges making deliveries encounter tropical storms or gale winds while in transit to a port within the AOR. Industrial high-quality coals are materials needed by many power plants and cement factories situated in the provinces of Pangasinan and La Union, At present, PCG is providing security to a grounded barged APOL 3001 at the coast of Brgy Suso, Sta. Maria, Ilocos Sur. On preservation of mangroves, this District mandatory participates in all the seasonal tree-planting activities of the DENR.

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The Bureau of Immigration (BI) urged aspiring Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) to avoid human traffickers and illegal recruiters who would prey on their vulnerabilities, after the agency uncovered the recurrence a modus operandi of a syndicate that houses and trains its victims at safe houses before deployment abroad. Bureau of Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente issued the reminder after two women were recently barred from leaving the country for misrepresenting their age and narrating their experience with the syndicate that recruited them. The women had alleged that they were kept by their handlers in a safehouse in Paco, Manila for two months before they were booked for their flights.

Morente instructed the bureau’s port operations division (POD) and travel control and enforcement unit (TCEU) to conduct strict profiling and inspection of departing passengers to ensure that no underage OFWs are able to leave. According to Bureau of Immigration POD chief Grifton Medina, the two women, aged 19 and 20, were intercepted last Sept. 21 at the NAIA terminal 2 in their attempt to board a connecting flight from Dubai to Saudi Arabia. Medina said the passengers both presented valid passports, visas, job contract, and overseas employment certificates but the birth dates in their documents were intentionally altered to make it appear that they meet the age requirement for Household Service Workers which is 23 years. “Both women initially claimed that they were 26 years old, but eventually admitted their real age upon questioning,” Medina said. Bureau of Immigration-TCEU chief Timotea Barizo said that the women recounted how they were housed for two months at a safehouse in Manila where they were briefed and taught by their recruiters how to respond to questions from immigration officers. “We've heard this in the past, usually victims would be briefed a few days before their flight. But now they're actually housed for months to train on how to evade immigration questioning," said Barizo. "The two victims admitted that their documents were given only prior to departure, and that they were told to open it only after check in. This forces them to go on and comply with the scheme despite the discrepancy since they are already there,” Barizo said. Morente reiterated his reminder to OFWs not to fall prey to these schemes. "Transact only with legitimate agencies accredited by the POEA (Philippine Overseas Employment Administration)," he reminded.

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