DoTC Finally Approves IRR of Coast Guard Law of 2009

Article excerpt

MANILA, Philippines -- Department of Transportation and Communication (DoTC) Secretary Jose 'Ping' P. De Jesus has approved the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act No. 9993, otherwise known as the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Law of 2009 after a series of consultations with various government agencies and the maritime stakeholders around the country.

According to De Jesus, the PCG Law of 2009 and the newly approved IRR, in effect, now institutionalized the transfer of the PCG from the Philippine Navy to the DoTC as an "attached agency" to the latter, thus "establishing the PCG as a distinct, uniformed and armed service in the country." provided that "in times of war, the PCG shall be placed under the Department of National Defense (DND)."

Coast Guard commandant Admiral Wilfredo D. Tamayo led the 6,000 PCG men and women in lauding Secre[logical not]tary De Jesus' approval of the IRR. The PCG Law of 2009 was passed by Congress and signed into law by then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo while its IRR were approved 11 months after the law was born and already under the administration of President Benigno S. Aquino III.

According to Admiral Tamayo, and other PCG top brass including Vice Admiral Ramon Liwag, Rear Admiral Edumnd Tan, Commodores Luis Tuason, Jr. and Lino Dabi, it took more than decade 10 years for the law to be passed by Congress.

According to Tamayo, the said IRR are a product of a participatory exercise involving 'all parties' who

contributed efforts and ideas to ensure that a "responsive IRR can address prevailing and emerging challenges in the maritime industry is promulgated."

Consequently, RA 9993 or the PCG Law of 2009 authorized the PCG to take over from the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) the latter's maritime enforcement functions un[logical not]der Republic Act No. 9295, otherwise known as the Domestic Shipping Development Act of 2004.

In the same breath, the PCG is "vested with crucial functions," that could be summed up as "Maritime Safety (MARSAF), Marine Environmental Protection (MAREP), Maritime Search and Rescue (MAR[logical not]SAR), Maritime Law Enforcement (MARLEN) and Maritime Security (MARSEC). …