The Commandant's Compass by Admiral Wilfredo Tamayo of the Philippines Coast Guard - The Commandant's Compass has been adopted as the primary strategy until such time that it is modified or improved to address new and emerging challenges

The Commandant's Compass


As a uniformed and disciplined organization, there are inevitable similarities in strategies and approaches between the PCG and the Armed Forces. So as not to re-invent the wheel, best practices and doctrines from the Navy in particular and the AFP, in general, are constantly reviewed and analyzed to determine its applicability to the distinct role the Coast Guard is performing.

With the enactment of the PCG Law, there is a need to fully adopt the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) that clearly defines how the new law is applied and to elaborate on the general provisions of the law. Different committees have been duly established to dissect the new PCG law and ensure that all gray areas will be resolved through the said IRR.
In coordination with concerned government agencies, port authorities and shipping organizations, the PCG will continue to identify areas where procedures for the enforcement of security regulations can be adopted. The Command will also assess the current enforcement regime for marine environmental regulations. In search and rescue, the PCG likewise envisions to re-define the PCG's role in relation to the national, regional and local frameworks.

Concomitant with the above, there is also a need to pursue the enactment of more national regulations to implement the requirements of international conventions which the country is bound to enforce. It is also necessary to comprehensively assess the efficiency in their application including the gravity of penalties to determine whether they serve as effective deterrence. There is also the essential task of drafting more applicable and supporting laws for submission to Congress. Such laws are needed to solidify the PCG's performance of its peculiar functions. Furthermore, the PCG must be able to provide the impetus and basis for the legislature to pursue the adoption by the country of the various international maritime conventions and instruments.

On the other hand, the creation of a maritime regime involves the continuing development of mutually acceptable norms principles, policies and decision-making processes dealing with the various facets of ocean management of the country's numerous waterways to include the ocean. The process normally proceeds from a clear-cut identification of individual responsibilities and corresponding accountabilities of all of the major players in the maritime industry. Thereafter, a framework for the seamless c cooperation in the areas of safety, security and environmental protection must be clearly established. Possible areas for developing more maritime regimes are the following:

1. Enforcement regime on security
2. Search and rescue and disaster response regime
3. Safety management regime
4. Regime on environmental protection
5. Law enforcement regime

The task of maritime regime building will necessarily involve closer coordination and cooperation with the other government agencies which exercise similar jurisdiction or oversight functions. The theory or approach to accomplish this undertaking is to create a confusion-avoidance scheme where participating agencies are knowledgeable about their respective spheres of responsibilities. The objective is to remove "gray areas in the agencies discharge of their respective functions in relation to other entities. The current situation therefore presents a big challenge not only for the PCG but for the entire government bureaucracy which is characterized by overlapping functions and duplication of efforts.

The continuing development of an effective maritime regime must evolve from a re-evaluation of the present structure and organization of the various agencies of government with a particular interest in the maritime industry to determine their efficacy, usefulness and logical existence. As a member of the maritime cluster, it is imperative for the PCG to have its lawfully- supported by a comprehensive IRR so that it can contribute to the regime creation with a sense of credibility, authority, responsibility, accountability and permanence.

In the process of active anticipation, the PCG continues to harness its capacity and confidence to assure not only the legislators but more so the general public that it deserves greater recognition for its role as the country's premier maritime guardian.

The Commandant's Compass


It is said that the key ingredients in the effective performance of agency functions are the ability and commitment of h its leaders or unit commanders to manage its activities responsibly taking into consideration the vital mission the unit has to the perform against the reality of very modest budgetary resources and rigid fiscal and accounting regulations.
To achieve this, the following actions o is considered priorities: The Command will continue to embark on programs and activities that will further enhance the morale and welfare of Coast I Guard personnel.

Continuing implementation of programs that will enhance operational efficiency through systems improvement and avoidance of wasteful practices.

Institutionalization of the so-called s leadership by Institute of the principle of Command r Strict observance of cost-effectiveness transparency and accountability Improvement of the system of grievances and feedback mechanism Rationalization of the support system to ensure wider coverage and effective impact of operations and administration. Promotion of unity, teamwork and camaraderie in all mission performances of PCG units.

Good working relationship with partner agencies, nations, and industry associations.

In its external application, responsible maritime governance is viewed as the ability of the agency to effectively and dutifully discharge its functions to ensure the safety and security of the maritime transportation system and the protection of the marine environment. Within the limits provided for by law in terms of its safety functions, the PCG must endeavor to be more proactive and instrumental in ensuring that safety will always be paramount in all maritime-related activities.

Close supervision and coordination with domestic shipping operators remain indispensable if the PCG is determined to instill a culture of safety and responsible ship ownership and foreign ships must be that the Philippines is neither a sanctuary nor a safe haven for substandard ships.

In maritime navigation safety, it is the primary duty of the PCG to properly maintain all lighthouse stations and to always keep them in their top operational condition. The Maritime Safety Service Command (MSSC) continues to review and update its master plan for the development and upgrade of the existing navigational aids as well as the establishment of more aids to navigation particularly in areas where maritime traffic is dense. Special attention is focused also on establishing additional buoys and floating aids along entrances to major ports and harbors. Floating and submerged wrecks and other hazards to navigation are expeditiously removed to prevent future accidents.

In maritime security, the PCG continues to provide deterrence to unlawful acts at sea and enforce all applicable laws without fear or favor. Terrorism and other unlawful acts in the sea have now become a global threat to maritime transport. Hence, in cooperation with the OTS and other related agencies, the PCG ensures that sufficient security coverage is laid out for all maritime assets and interests throughout the archipelago.

Finally, in maritime environmental protection, the PCG continues to serve as a strong vanguard to reserve, conserve, protect and rehabilitate our precious marine environment and its vast marine resources. It is in this area that linkage with other government agencies, local government NGOs, advocacy groups and other interest organizations is strongly encouraged as this will serve as a significant factor in the accomplishment of the PCG mission to achieve a clean and sustainable marine environment. Public interest and support are gained through the aggressive implementation of local awareness and environmental consciousness programs.


The Commandant's Compass


The PCG is not a stand-alone agency. Although the PCG possesses highly-trained and capable personnel to perform its mandated tasks, the need to further establish partnership and collaboration with relevant government and non-government sectors of the society cannot be overemphasized.

As a duly established and recognized leader in the conduct of maritime operations and coordination, the PCG continues to expand its network of cooperation and strengthen partnerships with the other maritime services, government agencies, local government units NGOs, maritime industry associations, private sector, and international partners to achieve common interests and objectives.

To further promote the unity of action among the key players in the operating environment, the Coast Guard pursues the following initiatives:

Collective preparedness in the interagency environment and make use of lessons learned from past experiences more often to improve responses to maritime safety, environment, and security situations.

Integrated command, control and communications system to improve internal, inter-agency, and international coordination.

Interoperability and cooperation with other uniformed/ maritime services or agencies, the PCG Auxiliary, industry associations, local government units, and partner nations through the conduct of combined or joint training exercises such as MARPOLEX, SAREX, MARLEN Exercise, CARAT, MTA, etc. and multinational conventions conferences, and other joint undertakings.

Policy-making initiatives by encouraging the active participation of inter-agency experts and professionals with the end in view of developing new policies and translating maritime concerns into plans, policies, regulations, strategies and procedures.

Training of incident/crisis management personnel under the operating units to include vital components of the DRG such as the TF Sea Marshal, CG Anti-Terrorist Unit (CGATU), TF Special Medical Advance Rescue Team (TF SMART), Alert Rescue and Quick Reaction Teams (ART/ QRT), and Oil Spill Response Teams (OSRTs), among others for more effective coordination and handling of maritime incidents.

Partnership with inter-agency and international partners by entering into more formal agreements and understanding on mutual concerns and interests.

PCG Auxiliary's more active supporting role in the areas of maritime search and resource, disaster response and relief operations, marine environmental protection. information campaigns and education, and community relations or services.

The Commandant's Compass


Finance and logistics are the very lifeblood of any operation. Without a good finance and logistics support system, the conduct of prompt and sustained Coast Guard operations will not be possible. With the end view of improving the performance of its mandated functions, the PCG continues to ensure that an efficient and effective finance and logistics system is in place to support the various roles it has to perform in a rapidly changing maritime environment.

A carefully planned, developed and periodically reviewed and analyzed logistics support system is needed to ensure that field operating units, units afloat and air assets strategically deployed and positioned nationwide are promptly and sufficiently supported in their operational and material requirements. The logistics support system must encompass the entirety of PCG operations from prevention, mitigation, and preparedness, up to response and rehabilitation. To achieve this, the following priorities are put in place:

Logistical support is focused towards the timely and cost-effective delivery of supplies, materials, equipment and services to PCG units and personnel.

Basic support systems and facilities are continuously established and/or maintained in support of the PCG Deployment Program.

Mobility assets are maintained and operated through credible maintenance and repair program.

Economic measures are observed in all logistical activities through the timely procurement of supplies materials, equipment and services, energy conservation measures and other cost-cutting initiatives.

Information technology equipment and systems are upgraded for improved logistics and financial management in support of PCG operations.

The thrusts of the financial service or component of the organization are geared towards the following areas:

Continuing conduct of activities to accomplish the PCG mission such as:

Promotion of maritime safety and security.
Effective conduct of search and rescue.
Enhanced protection of the marine environment.
Strict enforcement of maritime laws
Security in the maritime environment.
Further enhancement of personnel morale and welfare.

Continuing upgrade in human resource organization, training capability and doctrines development.

Continuing improvement in the operational readiness of units and support systems.

Sustained national and international commitments.

Optimum utilization of resources.

Enhanced fiscal prudence, control measures and financial management systems in order to institute productivity, and generate savings in the implementation of programs, projects and activities of the on Command.

All PCG resources are properly managed, maintained or utilized and accounted for. All Unit Commanders or Project Administrators are held responsible and accountable for said resources in cases of losses or wastage through acts of imprudence or improper disposition.

Quarterly Program, Review and Analysis reports are religiously prepared and presented by Major Unit/District Commanders to the Commandant, PCG.

As a matter of policy, advance deliveries of supplies, materials, equipment and services are strictly not allowed unless expressly authorized by CPCG, funds are certified available, and utilized for emergency purposes only.

All procurements shall continue to be strictly in accordance with RA 9184 and the PCG Procurement Circular.

Based on the APB, unit Commanders are not to incur expenditures in excess of their allocated budget.

Unit Commanders are to always ensure that specific fund/logistical support for the purpose shall reach their subordinate units such as the Stations, Detachments and field/OPCON units promptly and as appropriated.

The grant, utilization and liquidation of cash advances are strictly governed by relevant regulations.

Scheduled and unscheduled expectations/audit of cash book and program of expenditures are periodically conducted to ensure compliance by accountable officers to existing regulations.

Based on an existing policy, priority in the utilization of cash allocation are given to personnel-related claims and mandatory or fixed expenditures such as POL, light and water, rentals and communications services.

The Commandant's Compass


The long-term strategic deployment plan of the PCG is geared towards prompt, flexible and sustained deployment of a minimum number and appropriate type of air, sea and land assets in all Districts and Stations that is sufficient to carry out the various coast guard functions. The layered strategy for safety and security and the tiered approach to marine pollution prevention and response requires the readiness of the PCG to perform its functions from the Headquarters level down to the smallest unit of the organization. However, the availability and cost effectiveness of service and support systems are necessary to support actual operations.

Thus the sustained deployment of air and sea assets is matched by the provision for service facilities and support systems Ships' deployments are supported by the availability of ample berthing space, shore power, modest repair and re-watering facilities, and other service amenities. Air assets have appropriate hangars protective enclosures, flexible fuel depots, storages other support facilities. Pollution response equipment like workboats, booms and skimmers have appropriate berthing and/or storage spaces and platforms such a land mobility vehicles to deploy and launch them to the spill site in the least possible time.

During actual search and rescue operations, the availability of an effective and reliable communications system is essential in ensuring close monitoring, proper coordination, prompt reporting and faster response time In law enforcement operations, ordnance and communications are necessary components which must be readily available for use and replenishment, if necessary. In the field of navigational safety, the availability of small boats and hauling vehicles are necessary to move aids to navigation (ATON) equipment and personnel to the remote areas. Appropriate storage areas are developed to secure and house ATON equipment and spares. Workshop facilities and equipment are maintained for the conduct of repair and maintenance of buoys and other ATON equipment.

Coast Guard Districts have dedicated and more reliable spaces for storing equipment and supplies used during operations. This is necessary in order to have proper inventory management and monitoring of stocks of critical spares/supplies. The PCG's self-reliance program, it is particularly the MRG is further strengthened to reduce the need for new procurements and the use of private contractors to conduct repair services for ordinary or simple derangements. The K-9 Unit is well supported in their in-house breeding, training and deployment programs to further improve on their self-reliance and sustainability

Medical, dental and spiritual services are well supported at the Districts Headquarters level to support the needs of personnel and their dependents. Legal services are readily available to afford the protection of personnel in the performance of their duties. Financial services a well improved to ensure faster remittances of salaries and other benefits including the processing of loans or individual savings or contributions.