NOTE: THIS STORY WAS FIRST PUBLISHED IN THE BOHOL CHRONICLE’S SUNDAY PRINT EDITION.
The Philippine Coast Guard has inaugurated the biggest and most modern sub-station in the entire country located in the island town of President Carlos P. Garcia (Pitogo).
No less than the agency’s second top brass from the national level Vice Admiral Rolando Lison Punzalan graced the turnover events last Thursday.
In an exclusive interview by the Chronicle, Pitogo Mayor Fernando Estavilla said that the biggest and most modern sub-station of the Philippine Coast Guard in the entire country located in his island town is something of a history in the making.
“This will help us in patrolling our municipal water boarders in the island town against illegal fishing activities which are at times still rampant from our neighboring province of Leyte”, Estavilla said.
Aside from that, the coast guard personnel is very crucial in securing our borders against the possible entry of African Swine Fever (ASF). The ASF is already positive in the province of Leyte while there are reports that this might also be present in Cebu province. The island town has regular passenger trips to and from Cebu every day while most of the private motor bancas often travel to the neighboring province of Leyte.
The mayor also did not set aside the possibility of using the sub-station during calamities.
“When Super Typhoon Oddete hit us last December of 2021, we were only left with the building of the Bureau of Fire Protection as the only one standing and was used as our command center at that time, but with the advent of this modern coast guard sub-station building, we have something positive to look into once natural calamity hit us again, God forbid”, the mayor explained.
For her part, 2nd District Representative Vanessa C. Aumentado, who personally attended the event, said that the sub-station is of great importance in securing the seas of the second district and preventing illegal activities.
“While I am very happy, I am also worried as other Mayors in the second district might also request the same sub-station project which will require more funding but with the help of Vice Admiral Punzalan who is also here, the task might be easier”, Aumentado said in her inaugural message.
As per DPWH assistant Engineer Caloy Virtudazo, the cost of the building is a whooping P12M.
The sub-station of the coast guard in Pitogo is 13 years in the making. The requests and other requisites were started by former Mayor and now town councilor Tesalonica Boyboy, mother of incumbent Mayor Eping.
It was then funded by the national funds during the incumbency of former 2nd district representative and now Governor Aris Aumentado. (Anthony Ton-Ton Aniscal)