The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) recognized Friday around 81 graduates of the first-ever national level all-female radio operators in a low-key ceremony held in Pasay City.
On June 25, PCG Deputy Commandant for Operations Vice Admiral Leopoldo V. Laroya, who expressed his gratitude to Rear Admiral Ronnie Gil L. Gavan, commander of the Coast Guard Weapons, Communications, Electronics, and Information System Command, who conceptualized and initiated the course in an effort to help sustain the Coast Guard, recognized their batch as Angels of the Sea Class 01-2021.
After their brief district-level training in June 2018, the female radio operators were employed by the PCG along Basilan Strait and Sibutu Passage to temper seafarers’ anxieties at the height of piracy and kidnapping in the said areas.
“The Command recognizes the evolving unique importance of having female radio operators aboard PCG vessels and shore-based units, especially in communicating with foreign ships, so as not to elevate tension. We want our Angels of the Sea to become the voice of peaceful and rules-based order at sea, especially in our country’s sensitive maritime frontiers,” Laroya said.
He applauded the graduates for rising to the challenge of sharpening their communication skills in preparation for deployment aboard boats and coastal stations to help improve maritime law enforcement, maritime safety, and maritime security in Philippine waters.
Some members of the Class are currently serving on patrol ships with the PCG Task Force (TF) Pagsasanay, which is conducting rotational training exercises in various Philippine maritime jurisdictions, including the West Philippine Sea.
“To our graduates, know that you could be great influencers and convincers by raising your voices with less pressure to sway those who are listening, which will then lead to successful operations. Hence, I challenge you to continue exploring and learning, and not just holding on to the lessons you acquired from this course,” Laroya said.
The Angels of the Sea is one of the Command’s programs aimed at giving all members of the uniformed service equal opportunities to fulfill their unique roles in defending the nation at sea.
“Having good communication skills boosts one’s self-esteem and confidence. It promotes understanding and is essential in having a successful career. We want all women in the Coast Guard service to be able to develop their sense of self-worth and give them their right to influence social change. We hope this course served its purpose of minimizing gender discrimination and highlighting the important role of women in public service,” he added.
The ceremony coincided with the culmination of the PCG TF Pagsasanay maritime law enforcement and anti-piracy training exercise at the Sulu-Celebes Sea area launched earlier this week by the PCG Commandant, Admiral George V Ursabia Jr.