By Betheena Unite
A new training facility for the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) to improve its workforce and assets was opened Monday.
The PCG and the government of United States jointly held the soft opening of the newly-constructed Outboard Motor Center Training Facility in Balagtas, Bulacan.
The training facility, according to PCG Commandant Admiral Elson Hermogino will enhance the Coast Guard’s “capacity to train and sustain its workforce and equipment.”
It was built under local contract managed by the U.S Naval Facilities Engineering Command.
According to Hermogino, it is a joint project between the PCG, U.S Coast Guard, the Joint Interagency Task Force-West, the Joint U.S Military Assistance Group, and the U.S Department of State Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs.
It has a classroom, barracks, and an outboard motor maintenance laboratory. An estimated amount of P156 million was spent to complete the project.
The new facility will help men from the PCG to sustain the capability of its 300 aluminum boats and 50 rubber boats with outboard motors deployed nationwide, Hermogino said noting that the PCG frontline units rely heavily on aluminum and rubber boats in fulfilling its mandate.
These water assets are primarily used in the coastal law enforcement patrol, search and rescue, and monitoring environmental laws compliance.
It was bared that this year, the US government will deploy a mobile training team inside the training facility in Bulacan to train qualified PCG personnel to become instructors.
Last year, at least 40 PCG personnel were sent to US Coast Guard Training School in Virginia to undergo different shipboard courses to include training on the maintenance of outboard motors.