PCG commandant Adm. George Ursabia Jr. during his visit to Kalayaan island town on May 25, 2021. | Screenshot from PCG video

Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) commandant Adm. George Ursabia Jr. has challenged his maritime law enforcement personnel conducting patrols in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) to fly the national flag with “a sense of pride” and to step up their presence in the contested region.

A press statement from the PCG posted on May 26 said this happened on May 25 during the recognition of Coast Guard and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) vessels that maintain maritime security and safety in the contested region.

A PCG vessel is seen in the West Philippine Sea in this screen captured image from a video of Ursabia’s visit on May 25, 2021, in the West Philippine Sea.

Ursabia, the first PCG commandant, to visit Kalayaan recognized the personnel of BRP Malapascua (MRRV-4403), BRP Capones (MRRV-4404), BRP Francisco Dagohoy (MMOV-5002), MCS-3001, MCS-3002, MCS-3004, MCS-3005, and BRP Habagat (TB-271).

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“These are the two main objectives that we need to accomplish — stepping up our presence and flying the Philippine flag with a sense of pride in the West Philippine Sea. We have to do our part in a peaceful and rules-based manner in performing our duties,” Ursabia said in the statement.

Ursabia urged the PCG personnel too to serve with humility and compassion amid the overwhelming commendations and support they are receiving from the public.

He said that now that the PCG has the “attention, trust, and confidence of the Filipino people and the global community”, they should serve with freedom from arrogance

“Huwag tayong magyayabang, dahil hindi gusto ni Lord na nagyayabang tayo. Let us remain humble and compassionate for that is how Coast Guardians should be. I am proud to see that all of you are fully embracing such virtues,” he said.

“Thank you very much for such very impressive and exemplary performance. May God continue to bless you all as you go on in serving our motherland and the Filipino people with patriotism, compassion, and fear of God,” Ursabia added.

Ursabia bestowed the Award of Distinguished Coast Guard Cross and Ribbon in appreciation of the efforts and sacrificies of Lieutenant Junior Grade Elwin Madridano and 16 other personnel of the PCG Station in Kalayaan town. 

“We recognize your heroism in the face of great danger above and beyond the call of duty, most especially in conducting maritime patrols in the West Philippine Sea. On behalf of your Coast Guard family and the entire Filipino nation, we thank you for your humble and compassionate public service,” Ursabia said.

The PCG Auxiliary donated school supplies to the students of the municipality which they could use in their study.

“Kayong mga kabataan, kayo ang makakapag-ahon sa Pag-asa Island. Gusto namin na mabigyan kayo ng maayos na edukasyon para paglaki ninyo, puwede kayong makapasok sa serbisyo. Nandito kami para maging reyalidad ang ambisyon ninyo dahil kayo ang magmamana ng Coast Guard, AFP, PNP, at iba pang sangay ng gobyerno,” he said.

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covers the police beat and other law enforcement agencies in the province. Her interest includes traveling and photography.