U.S., Philippines open new Coast Guard facility

On May 9, U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission Y. Robert Ewing and Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Deputy Commandant for Administration Vice Admiral Allan Victor Dela Vega inaugurated the PCG’s new Php54 million ($950,000) vessel maintenance facility, funded by the U.S. government to bolster support for the rapidly expanding fleet of the PCG.

Located at the Cavite Buoy Base in Sangley Point, the Fleet Maintenance and Repair Group (MRG) Workshop is the first PCG facility specifically designed for vessel maintenance. Mirroring U.S. Coast Guard support sites, the 400-square-meter facility includes a machine shop, welding shop, electrical shop, staff office space, and storage room. The facility’s specialized construction allows for a broad range of repair capabilities for all types of vessels, regardless of size, function, or origin.

Funded by the U.S. Department of Defense through the Joint U.S. Military Assistance Group-Philippines, with additional support from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, the project also provided essential equipment and training for PCG technicians.

“The MRG Workshop enables the Philippines to conduct more continuous and reliable vessel operations at sea, counter illegal fishing, enhance maritime domain awareness, and address unlawful activities from aggressive foreign actors,” said Deputy Chief of Mission Ewing. He emphasized the importance of this development in strengthening the foundational partnership between the United States and the PCG.

Deputy Chief of Mission Ewing also referenced the U.S. government’s previous contributions to the PCG’s modernization, including the construction of the U.S.-funded Specialized Education and Technical Building in Balagtas, Bulacan, which began offering courses in 2023 on vessel operations and engineering for PCG personnel.

“This new workshop is a gamechanger for the PCG. It will help us repair our ships faster and keep them in top shape to better protect Philippine waters,” stated Vice Admiral Dela Vega. He expressed profound gratitude for the U.S. donation, noting, “This state-of-the-art workshop will significantly enhance our ship repair capabilities and ensure the continued safety and operational efficiency of our fleet.”

The U.S. remains committed to supporting the MRG to effectively maintain the PCG’s vessels, maximizing their operational presence throughout the Philippines’ Exclusive Economic Zone.


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