PCG: We need a long-lasting secure vehicle, 'especially if security threat is high' | Inquirer News

PCG: We need a long-lasting secure vehicle, ‘especially if security threat is high’

/ 11:36 AM July 12, 2023

The PCG is justifying its purchase of a high-end SUV

Philippine Coast Guard logo over a photo of PCG members on a rubber boat. INQUIRER FILES

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on Wednesday justified purchasing a luxury bullet-proof sport utility vehicle (SUV) in the face of high-security threats.

Investing in an SUV can save money in the long run for the PCG’s need for new cars and long-term vehicles to use alongside pick-up trucks for our rubber boats, it said.


“Ito lamang ang panahon na makakabili kami ng bagong sasakyan at ‘yun na nga ho ang gagamitin. Tapos ‘yung bulk po ng mga sasakyan na meron ang coast guard, ito ‘yung mga pick up na kung saan, ito ‘ang humahatak sa rubber boats natin. Ibig sabihin, meron talaga kaming mga pangangailangan na magkaroon din ng mga sasakyan na magagamit nang pangmatagalan at in the long run ay tingin namin na makakatipid kami doon sa SUV,” PCG spokesperson Rear Admiral Armand Balilo said in an interview over DZBB.


(This is the only time we can buy and use a new car. Then the bulk of the vehicles that the coast guard has, are the pick-ups that pull our rubber boats. That means we really have the need also to have vehicles that can be used in the long run, and in the long run, we think that we can save money on the SUV.)

Balilo then corrected the Commission on Audit’s report, saying that of the 459 vehicles that PCG owns, around 150 to 180 are either “for disposal” or “very old.”

READ: COA calls out PCG for acquiring luxury SUV without DBM nod

The PCG official further said that the SUV was acquired for P4.9 million using the agency’s rebates for fuel, oil, and lubricants from Petrol Corp., adding that another P2.8 million was allotted to make the vehicle bulletproof.

“Technically, pera pa rin ng bayan ito. Inilagak o ipinagbibili natin ng oil para sa operations natin pero nagkataon na may mga hindi natuloy na operations kaya umabot tayo doon sa panahon na merong savings. ‘Yung savings po na ‘yun ay hindi maibabalik sa atin in terms of monetary consideration sapagkat may kontrata na ang maaari lang po ay infrastructure, repair ng mga sasakyan, at pambili mismo ng mga sasakyan na kailangan ng coast guard,” he explained.

(Technically, it’s still the people’s money. We store or buy oil for our operations, but it happened that there were operations that did not continue, so we reached the point where we accumulated savings. Those savings cannot be returned to us in terms of monetary consideration because there is a contract that only allows infrastructure, repair of vehicles, and the purchase of the vehicles needed by the coast guard.)


READ: COA flags Coast Guard over purchase of P7.8-M SUV

According to Balilo, the PCG’s security team thoroughly studied the acquisition of the SUV before it was recommended to PCG Commandant Artemio Abu.

In the thick of this controversy, Balilo said they are trying to determine how to correct the issue.

“Hindi naman kami insensitive rito sa mga comments at gusto rin namin tugunan ‘yung mga sinasabi nilang dapat gawin at kami po ay open po d’yan. Pinag-uusapan po at pinag-aaralan kung ano ang mabuti, pero kung may pag-uusap po ay meron din po talagang gustong matuloy na magkaroon ng isang security vehicle na magagamit in times of need lalo na kung mataas ang security threat,” he said.

(We are not insensitive to comments on this issue; we also want to address what they say should be done, and we are open to that. We are discussing and studying what is good, but if there is a discussion, there are also people who want to continue having a security vehicle that can be used in times of need, especially if the security threat is high.)

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READ: P7.8M bulletproof SUV ng PCG pinuna ng COA

TAGS: PCG, procurement, SUV

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