Speech by President Ferdinand R. Marcos at the 121st Founding Anniversary of the Philippine Coast Guard
Thank you for your introduction, Transportation Secretary Jimmy Bautista. [Please take your seats.] The Excellencies of the Diplomatic Corps; our National Security Adviser Secretary Clarita Carlos; our Special Assistant to the President Secretary Antonio Lagdameo Jr.; of course Commandant Admiral Artemio Abu of the Philippine Coast Guard; members of the Senate and of the House of Representatives here present; officials, enlisted personnel, and of course the awardees for the 2022 Philippine Coast Guard celebration of its founding; my fellow workers in government; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen, good morning.
I am glad and honored to be in the presence of the brave men and women of the Philippine Coast Guard as we mark another year in its long and storied history.
For 121 years, you have bravely performed maritime search and rescue operations, enforced maritime law, ensured maritime safety, maritime security, marine environmental protection, amongst others.
It makes us very proud to see how far the Philippine Coast Guard has come as this country’s oldest and only humanitarian armed service since the inception of the Philippine Coast Guard in 1901.
I congratulate each and every one of you for this impressive record. This success speaks well of your loyalty, your perseverance, and also your triumphs in carrying out your mandates, as you continuously evolve into a more reliable, relevant agency over the years in the future.
Throughout your century-old narrative, you have never failed to heed the call of your fellow Filipinos, always in their time of need.
You continue to render valuable assistance to persons in distress to respond to various events requiring search and rescue operations, especially in times of natural calamities and disasters at sea.
You likewise take a proactive stance in preventing and mitigating the risks associated with maritime incidents and weather disturbances.
And to improve their operational efficiency as vital aids to navigation, you conduct maintenance to our lighthouses to make sure that our fisherfolk and our ships are safely guided in their journey.
The PCG is likewise crucial to the government’s law enforcement initiatives by ensuring and maintaining peace and order at sea.
And the Philippine Coast Guard in the recent past has taken on many new duties. Critical of that is now you are the frontline in the defense of our maritime territory, in defense of our economic zones, in defense of our baselines.
Although this may not have been originally part of the mission of the Philippine Coast Guard, you have nonetheless been performing that mission with honor, with skill, with dedication. [applause] And we in the — and the rest of the government counts on you to continue that good work.
Furthermore, when the pandemic came to the Philippines and we were in need of skilled workers to help in again another duty or another mission that was not originally the mission of the Philippine Coast Guard, yet the Philippine Coast Guard rose to the challenge and to this day are continuing that duty to help alleviate the problems brought about by COVID-19, and in your duty and in your service, you have saved many, many lives. Once again, thank you for the service. [applause]
And you now are also, with the onset of our existential threat to the rest of the globe of global warming, you are the stewards of the environment who promote environmental sustainability by ensuring that all vessels and activities in the seas are compliant with our existing regulations and laws.
For all that you have done and that you continue to do, the entire Filipino nation is grateful.
Ladies and gentlemen, they say that, on our planet, nothing is as vast and as deep as the oceans and seas that surround us.
Yet, as I stand here before you, begging to differ for I see something else that runs much deeper and knows no borders and that is your love and dedication and sense of duty to your country and your spirit of service.
Today, we may navigate the uncharted waters of the post-pandemic world. Uncertainties loom, new challenges rise from these times but let us stand strong as one archipelago, one nation, one republic against these turbulent tides.
As you fulfill your duty, know very well that you will never sail as a lone body in these unsettling waters.
The entire force of the Filipino people will fuel your voyages, aiding you in your mission, as you brave our seas and make a difference in the lives of the people that you serve.
As your leader, I assure you that this Administration will always be behind you, supportive of your efforts and initiatives to modernize the Philippine Coast Guard, which will redound to the better delivery of service to the nation. [applause]
I urge you to continue your dedication and persistence in your duties and responsibilities and move full throttle towards the realization of your vision to be a world-class guardian of the sea — committed to save lives, assure safer maritime transportation, ensure cleaner seas, and secure maritime jurisdiction.
With the brave men and women of the Philippine Coast Guard, guarding our shores, I am confident that we will be able to steer our nation in a direction towards safer shores and even onwards to a better, brighter, and more prosperous future.
Maraming, maraming salamat po sa inyong lahat.
Mabuhay ang Philippine Coast Guard! Magandang umaga po sa inyong lahat. [applause]
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SOURCE: OPS-PND (Presidential News Desk)