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Duterte leads commissioning of coast guard’s new aircraft in Palawan

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President Rodrigo Duterte led the commissioning of the Philippine Coast Guard’s new Cessna Caravan 208 Aircraft, which was unveiled at the Kalayaan Station of the agency in Palawan.

Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, and Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Art Tugade joined the president in the historical event.

During the event, Duterte recognized the commitment and utmost efforts of the DOTr and the PCG to push for the realization of various transformational programs that would buoy up the capability and capacity of the agency to fulfill its duties as the guardians of the country’s seas.

“As we bolster our connectivity in Palawan, we also look into the fortified maritime security in the area. I am glad to know that the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) continue to be geared towards expanded presence in the West Philippine Sea and the Kalayaan Group, to safeguard Filipino fishermen who venture in the sea, for their daily livelihood,” Duterte said.

For his part, Tugade underscored the roles of the newly-acquired air asset and the Kalayaan Station of the PCG, which are vital in boosting the safety and security of the province’s borders.

“Makikita ninyo yung ginawa ng Coast Guard sa Kalayaan Island, ‘yung facility na in-acquire ng PCG upang sa ganun magamit itong pasilidad na ito in the safety and security of our seas,” he said.

Meanwhile, Duterte ordered Tugade to acquire additional Cessna planes, which shall be deployed in other areas in the country to further intensify PCG’s capability in responding to disasters, such as during evacuation, relief, and search and rescue operations.

The newly-acquired air asset has the capability to immediately respond realtime and can conduct shore and offshore surveillance with its rugged utility and flexibility features, along with its powerful turboprop engine, and latest avionics suite.

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