Bulacan – The United States and the Philippines jointly unveiled the Outboard Motor Center of Excellence, a new maritime training facility, in Balagtas, Bulacan on February 11. The U.S. government funded the Php 39 million facility, which will enhance the Philippine Coast Guard’s capacity to train its workforce and sustain its equipment. The new facility consists of a classroom, a barracks, and an outboard motor maintenance lab.
U.S. Embassy in the Philippines Deputy Chief of Mission John C. Law, Commandant of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Admiral Elson E. Hermogino, and Deputy Director of the Joint Interagency Task Force-West (JIATF-W) Earl Hampton, and Commodore Jose William U. Isaga, Commander of PCG Weapons, Communications, Electronics and Information System Service, participated in ribbon cuttings for the new facility’s barracks and outboard motor classroom.
In his remarks, Law reflected on the collective U.S.-Philippine commitment to long-term success in maritime security.
“Five years ago, the Philippines embarked on a plan that would enable the rapid and effective expansion of the Philippine Coast Guard to meet your country’s needs, and the maritime challenges that you face, from promoting safety and security, protecting environmental and economic interests, [and] preventing the illicit flow of drugs and people,” said Law. “And in those five years, you’ve made extraordinary strides to establish and implement a strategy where the PCG can support its technical training requirements for maintaining the materiel readiness and operational safety of its fleet.”
Admiral Elson E. Hermogino, Commandant of the Philippine Coast Guard, commented on the strategic benefits to maritime security that this facility provides.
“This project is a milestone in our effort to enhance PCG operations. It is one of the important missions in addressing the training requirements of the organization,” said Hermogino. “This endeavor has provided the foundation [for future training] while improving our personnel learning culture.”
Funded by the JIATF-W, the Outboard Motor Center of Excellence is a joint project between the PCG, U.S. Coast Guard, the JIATF-W, the Joint U.S. Military Assistance Group (JUSMAG), and the U.S. Department of State Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs. The facility was built under a local contract managed by the U.S. Naval Facilities Engineering Command. (USEmbassy/Manila)