Coast Guard District South Western Mindanao celebrates 50th anniversary Print
Friday, 02 March 2018 12:02

The Coast Guard District South Western Mindanao which is based here in Zamboanga City celebrates today its 50th anniversary.

According to Captain Ronnie Gil L. Gavan, District Commander of Coast Guard South Western Mindanao, no less than Philippine Coast Guard Commandant Rear Admiral Elson E. Hermogino is the the guest of honor and keynote speaker during the anniversary celebration during the main program that will be held at 4:00 PM at the Astoria Regenc in Pasonaca

Various activities are also line-up for the whole day celebration.

It can be recalled that on March 1, 1968, Coast Guard South Western Mindanao formerly known as Third Coast Guard District was formally activated.

It was initially located at Valderoza St., Zamboanga City.  The First District Commander was CDR. Sergio S. Nepomuceno PN.  Nine (9) Coast Guard Stations (CGS) were placed under its jurisdiction.

The PCG District South Western Mindanao has always been in strong partnership with the Wetern Mindanao Command (WesMinCom), Task Force Zamboanga and the City Government of Zamboanga in the implementation of a comprehensive security plan for the entire city amid threat from lawless groups.

Aside from helping government forces in securing the Zamboanga City, the Coast Guard South Western Mindanao has been instrumental in the  intensified campaign against smuggling in the region including in the island provinces of Sulu, Basilan and Tawi-Tawi.

No less than Mayor Beng Climaco has cited the commitment and dedication of the CGDSWM here for its relentless campaign against smuggling in its area of jurisdiction.

Gavan, who assumed the helm of CGDSWM on 05 April 2017 has insitutued various reforms and approaches to further upgrade the efficiency and effectiveness of the command in the performance of its mandate.

To enhance command and control, Gavan activated the Coast Guard Station Basilan pursuant to paragraph 1 General Orders 33 HPCG dated 18 January 2018 and established additional nineteen (19) Substations to cover previously underserved jurisdictions including the Great Bakkungan Islands at the Turtle Islands Group in the south, the 3SB municipalities of Zamboanga del Norte in the west, and Palimbang municipality of Sultan Kudarat in the east.

Likewise, he launched the database and marked a total of thirty one thousand nine hundred forty six (31,946) vessels and watercraft in the Safety, Security and Environmental Numbering System, a circular of PCG and DOTr to enhance marine environmental protection, maritime security and maritime safety prevention in the use of vessels and watercraft in various maritime infractions particularly piracy and terrorism.

Complementing this expanded reach are corresponding enhancements in the Doctrines, Organization, Training, Materiel, Personnel, Leadership, Facilities, Sustainment and Innovation (DOTMPLFS+i) parameters of the District. This resulted in the activation or reorganization of new staff or units, and acquisition of capabilities, including: District Office for Muslim Affairs (DOMA) to better support culturally-sensitive enforcement actions, Cyber Management Center (CMC) to leverage the Incident-Response and Law Enforcement potentials of the internet, Information and Operations Center (IOC) to enable Intelligence-driven operations, Staff for Training, Communications Substation for AIS and coast radio relay, Medical ambulance unit (PCSO) for own force conservation and support to Maritime SAR, 200HP Engine Yamaha Speedboat (Donated by provincial government), Reconsolidated Special Operations Unit, Forward deployed Marine Environmental Protection Units, Forward deployed Legal and Investigation service, Forward deployed Maritime Safety Service Unit,District Real Estate Management Office, and Composite mobile training team

With a combined Capital Outlay budget allocation of over PhP 1 Billion in Fiscal Year 2018 National Budget and Overseas Development Assistance, CGDSWM shall start construction of facilities at the following 2017-acquired (Deed of Usufruct or Lot Donation) properties.

These are the 4.5 hectare Search and Rescue Base in Sebutu Island, 5 hectare Forward Support Base at the Tawi-Tawi Integrated Seaport and Ecozone, 15 hectare  Coast Guard Base Mindanao at  Zamboanga City Freeport and Ecozone to host the HCGDSWM and support facilities and twenty Seven (27) vessel monitoring, surveillance and coast radio stations sites

At present, the CGDSWM has operational control over seven (7) stations and thirty two (32) Substations,  K9 unit for Explosives, Narcotics and SAR, Several teams of Special Operations teams, Legal service, seven (7) Intelligence Field Station detachments, CGWEISS  at least thirty (30) sea crafts or vessels of various sizes and class for response to maritime distress or  enforcing the Fifty Four (54) powers and functions of the PCG in five (5) coastal provinces and two (2) cities, two (2) critical International Sea-lanes (Basilan Strait and Sebutu Passage, and two (2) Seas and a Tri-Border Sea area straddling South Western Mindanao.

Meanwhile, Gavan also expressed gratitude to his officers and enlisted personnel for their hard work and dedication in their duty.—Jemuel E. Mojica