Pangilinan wants bigger 2022 budget for PCG to ramp up West PH Sea patrols
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Francis Pangilinan on Tuesday called for a higher budget for the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) to provide “much-needed” support for patrols in the West Philippine Sea and to ensure the protection of Filipino fishermen and the country’s territorial waters.
PCG’s budget for 2021 amounts to P13.2 billion, which is 13 percent lower than its 2020 funding of P15.22 billion, Pangilinan pointed out in a statement.
The senator issued the call for an increased PCG budget for next year after it drove away a Chinese navy ship near a Palawan town through a radio challenge.
“Ang galing ng ating David sa kanilang Goliath. Super lodi ang ating Coast Guard lalo na’t limitado ang kanilang resources. Kailangang bigyan sila ng saktong budget para mas marami pa silang matulungan,” Pangilinan said.
(Salute to our David to their Goliath. Our Coast Guard is doing a commendable job with the limited resources available to them. We should provide them with more budgetary support so that they could do more.)
“We commend our brave PCG personnel for asserting our territory and rights within our exclusive economic zone. We thank them for their invaluable contributions in protecting our territorial waters including the livelihood of our fishermen. Pagkain, buhay at hanapbuhay ang nakataya,” he added.
Noting the decrease in PCG’s budget in 2021 as compared to last year, the senator stressed that giving more support to the PCG signifies a deeper commitment to assert the county’s claim over the West Philippine Sea.
“Biruin nyo, 80% ng ating territoryo ay mga katubigan ngunit kakarampot lamang ang budget upang protektahan ito. Pinagkakasya lang ng ating mga magigiting na Coast Guard. Supporting the Coast Guard means supporting our stand on the West Philippine Sea,” he said.
(Eighty percent of the country’s territory is water but we have a small budget to protect it. Our Coast Guard is just making do of what they have. Supporting the Coast Guard means supporting our stand on the West Philippine Sea.)
Pangilinan then committed to supporting higher budget allocation for the PCG in the upcoming deliberations for the 2022 national budget.
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