The event was graced by some of the country’s lawmakers who are also members of the PCGA – Rear Admiral Richard J. Gordon, and Commodore Cynthia Villar. It was also graced by Department of Transportation (DOTR) Assistant Secretary Lino H. Dabi to represent Secretary Arthur P. Tugade, Philippine Coast Guard Commandant Rear Admiral Elson E. Hermogino, Mr. David F. Williams of the United States Embassy, and Lieutenant Abigail Clark of the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary.
The Awards and Anniversary Ball was well attended by over 300 officers of the Coast Guard Auxiliary from its 13 Districts nationwide.
In his speech, PCGA National Director Vice Admiral Valentin B. Prieto Jr. stated that the organization stayed strong for the past 46 years due to its volunteers “who serve to help and not to gain”.
“We will continue to surge ahead as a team because of our vision of serving in an environment of unity and brotherhood. We march forward with our dream of being able to produce a professional organization worthy of the pride of the Philippine Coast Guard who we are mandated to assist,” VADM Prieto said, adding that the organization will remain supportive and loyal to the Coast Guard.
His affirmations and assurance were well accepted by RADM Hermogino who expressed the PCG’s gratitude in the constant assistance and support of the PCGA in ensuring cleaner, safer and peaceful marine environment.
“We share with you the profession of life saving where the two important requisite are Individual Initiative and Courage. The Command is truly grateful that you stayed in the service and kept the flame of passion burning. You are all possessed with the desire to be of service to all in the community in even the most trivial matters,” RADM Hermogino said.
This was echoed by ASEC. Dabi in saying “allow me to give our gratitude and appreciation for all your efforts, labours and hardwork. Working together with PCGA ensures a great success in achieving and pursuing our common goal of protecting and preserving the marine environment for the future generation. Please continue your advocacy in offering your helping hands as this would really bring significant and valuable contribution to our nation building... your organization have already done so much for our country.”
PCGA is the uniformed civilian-volunteer group which was created in 1972 to assist the Coast Guard in maritime safety, maritime search and rescue, marine environmental protection, and maritime community relations. Its functions were institutionalized with the implementation of the Republic Act 9993 or the Philippine Coast Guard Law of 2009.