To ensure that the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) is capable of immediately coming to the rescue of Filipino fishermen who are in distress at sea, Senator Dick Gordon is pushing for the allocation of additional budget for boosting the agency’s capability.
Gordon made the proposal in the wake of the incident at the Recto Bank in the West Philippine Sea on June 9 when a Philippine fishing boat sank after it was rammed by a Chinese fishing boat and its crew was left exposed in open water for two to three hours before Vietnamese fishermen came to their rescue.
“We should put additional budget to our Coast Guard so we’ll have the ability to rescue our fishermen, not to attach foreign vessels,” the seasoned legislator said.
The veteran lawmaker pointed out that with the Philippines being a maritime country, having one part land and nine parts bodies of water as well as a coastline twice the size of the United States at 36,289 kilometers, the PCG should be well-equipped to patrol its territory.
“The PCG should be well-equipped to patrol its territory.”
The senator added that aside from having a capable Coast Guard and Navy, the country should also have a capable Air Force to protect its territory.
“The country should also have a capable air force.”
“If we had ships, we would still need a capable air force to protect them, something we don’t have either. Our coast line is twice the size of the coast line of the United States at 36,289 kilometers, yet we only have 90 functioning planes to cover it, placing the ration at one rickety plane for every 403 kilometers,” he said.