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 24/7 maritime guardians, the Philippine Coast Guard dedicates its best effort for the promotion of safe navigation, the security of maritime transportation system and marine environmental protection. The PCG shall be vigilant and prepared at all times to readily answer and respond to any distress call and thwart any maritime law infractions.

Aided by the availability of modern communications equipment, media and - press reports, government and private access to information and continuing conduct of community relations, the PCG's operating units are able to create a better picture of the maritime domain in their respective areas of responsibility with utmost consideration for safety, security and environmental concerns.

Vigilance is necessarily the first step in performing the PCG's various functions such vigilance, however, is useless if not translated into action. Action, on the other hand, is best done with proper training and preparation. The proper confluence of these events determines the success of every coast guard operation. To achieve this the following factors are considered Improved coordination and partnership with cognizant government agencies to facilitate greater access to information such as number or frequency of passengers, the volume of maritime traffic, potential hot spots or vulnerabilities and environmentally sensitive areas.

Enhanced partnership/cooperation with local governments to identify common areas of concern, year-round calendar of activities with particular effect to and participation of the maritime sector, and other possible areas of cooperation.

Periodic assessment of individual units' capacity to react to possible maritime scenarios and documentation of annual capacity to determine improvements achieved for specific durations.
Continuing conduct of exercises to determine strengths and weaknesses in the performance of various PCG functions and actual response time to incidents.

Holding of a Coast Guard Skills Olympics to determine the best performing/prepared unit. The rationale of this activity is not to foster competition but to encourage improvement areas in individual skills and competence, and unit preparedness.

The Commandant's Compass


With the limited number of resources and a vast maritime area to cover, the PCG strategizes the deployment of its assets to maximize Coast Guard presence and at the same time lessen response time during maritime incidents. Available statistics and records on areas where maritime disasters are prevalent as well as areas with high volume of maritime traffic are obtained and periodically analyzed to come up with an ideal plan as to what type of vessel, what kind of specialized personnel and which equipment will be deployed. The PCG continues to strengthen and integrate its operational capabilities for sustained strategic and flexible deployments, and to provide the much-needed presence or visibility in the operating environment.

The Coast Guard continues to upgrade and maintain the operational readiness of deployable assets such as ships, small crafts, aircrafts, and special units or teams for cost-effective response to marine casualties, disasters, incidents, threats, and/ or other hazards. Deployable Response Groups (DRG) in every District has been established to have a ready pool of highly- trained and well-equipped personnel to be deployed and employed during any maritime emergencies.

The deployment and employment of Coast Guard assets will continue to be governed by the guiding principles of unity of command/ effort/ action, span of control, integrated/ layered approach, inter-agency cooperation, interoperability, and strategic Coast Guard presence or visibility in the operational areas.

Towards this end, the CG Major Units, Districts, Stations and/or Detachments undertake the following: Conduct of regular trainings, drills and exercises to enhance the skills and confidence of each personnel in the performance of PCG functions.

Upgrade Coast Guard Districts' respective DRGs that could readily respond to practically any conceivable type of maritime emergency.

Hold continuing dialogues with the coastal communities and stakeholders on the services the PCG can offer to be able to better position such services.

Upgrade and maintain the operational readiness of OPCON/deployable assets to be able to readily undertake Coast Guard missions and mandated functions.

Improve on the integrated/ layered approach or strategy in the deployment and employment of capabilities for unified or collective response to a maritime threat/ crisis situation.

Strengthen Coast Guard operational capabilities and presence through sustained and flexible deployment of OPCON assets.

The Commandant's Compass


Coast Guard operations also rely significantly on the manner we develop our operating environment awareness. Such initiative is needed to plan and eventually improve Coast Guard prevention, preparedness, response and recovery operations and services. As such, every Coast Guard unit and personnel shall have a clear picture of the daily maritime activities in their respective areas of responsibility. Coast Guard operating units must always be on top of the situation concerning maritime activities or incidents that occur or may arise. By having a total grasp of situations within their respective AORs, Coast Guard operating units are able to more effectively prevent, prepare and respond to maritime incidents
Towards this end, the following activities are undertaken:

Enhanced information and intelligence sharing with other government intelligence units to optimize the use of available assets and resources.
MOAs with partner nations such as with Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Korea, China, and Japan among others, to obtain real-time information on maritime safety, environmental protection and security in the international setting.

Improved maritime intelligence/information gathering, sharing, analysis and dissemination capabilities.

Expanded database concerning act ties in the operating environment including essential information about maritime incidents, ports and harbors, vessels, crew maritime passengers, cargoes, the working environment, and associated infrastructures. The development of the much-needed database will involve the participation and cooperation of other government agencies, non-government organizations, industry/shipping organizations/associations, private sector and other stakeholders. Credible system to monitor or track down the activities of undocumented or small vessels which are not covered by voyage reporting requirements.

The Commandant's Compass


The PCG recognizes that human resource is the most important asset of the organization. In fact, human resource take of center stage in the Coast Guard's theater operations. No amount of having state-of-the-art equipment if the PCG does not have trained and capable personnel to operate and maintain such equipment. As such PCG trains and equips personnel with the right skills and attitude who are professional and dealing and day-to-day operations and activities.

In this regard, the Command has embarked on more aggressive education and training enhancement programs and innovations to better position itself as the principal provider of competent and professional personnel to a rapidly expanding organization. most significant of which are the following: PCG PMMA Cadetship Program a prelude to the creation of the Philippine Coast Guard Academy through the continuing implementation of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between PCG and the Philippine Merchant Marine Academy (PMMA). Initially, the PCG has sponsored and sent cadets to the PMMA who will be commissioned as regular officers of the PCG upon their graduation. Entry of PCG cadets to the US Coast Guard Academy is also being arranged.

Dynamic curriculum development involving CGETC and other units' managed courses through a cycle of evaluation, feedback and research-based restructuring to better meet the requirements of the students, the PCG and the country in general.

Doctrines and Best Practices Documentation Relevant doctrines inherited from the Navy as well as from other sources of best practices are being compiled for easy access by PCG personnel. Efforts to develop more course manuals in lieu of loose course hand-outs are also ongoing to enable better retention of new skills and knowledge among students. Research efforts have also been started to develop more handbooks for specific PCG operational and administrative activities.

Regular Conduct of Unit Training-Operational and Support Commands embark on respective unit training programs and activities such as TI & E's to ensure that peculiar organizational skills are improved and acquired by personnel in their respective fields. Training curricula, facilities and equipment are included in the enhancement program.

Rationalized Recruitment-The PCG recruits personnel with maritime-related field of education as well as with peculiar skills that are needed in the day-to-day operation of the organization. Strict and competitive selection and screening will be implemented to get the best applicants for commissionship and enlistment in the PCG.

Tour of Duty

Admiral Wilfredo Tamayo


In the implementation of the thrusts specified in the Commandant's Compass, the PCG has institutionalized the implementation of the PCG five Ps namely Presence, Preparedness, Partnership, Professionalism and Passion to Serve.


Every PCG personnel is a reflection of the Coast Guard organization. Hence, proper order and decorum must be observed at all times particularly in dealing with constituents and clientele.

Coast Guard presence does not only mean physical presence in the offices but rather being on board the ship when inspection is required to be done; it means being visible on- shore, in the ports and/or at sea for the conduct of boarding and inspection of vessels, SAR and/or disaster response operations, oil and chemical spill response, ATON runs, maritime law enforcement, maritime security operations and good community relations through stronger PCG-PCGA partnership, public information dissemination, medical/dental missions, water search and rescue or lifesaving courses, and other humanitarian activities.

It also means initiating or attending more interagency or stakeholders' meetings especially when immediate action is warranted, information promptly disseminated. And concerns discussed or resolved. Increased presence means enhanced awareness of the Filipino people about the existence and relevance of the Philippine Coast Guard and the much-needed accessibility of the public to Coast Guard services on a 24/7 basis.