Coast Guard District Southern Tagalog (CGDSTL) is located in the fast rising economic center of the country where the Strong Republic Nautical Highway connects the five(5) major ports that ply the following routes: Batangas – Calapan; Batangas – Romblon; Batangas – Abra de Ilog; Roxas – Caticlan and Lucena – Marinduque. Through the years, the CGDSTL amidst the enormous responsibility at hand was able to perform its multifarious functions and address needs of the maritime community in the area of responsibility. In line with the Commandant’s COMPASS: Capacity Building Measures, Operating  Environment Awareness, Aggressive Training and Recruitment, Strategic Deployments and Visibility, Total Vigilance and Preparedness, Growth in Service and Support System, Unity of Action Through Partnership, Accountable Finance and Logistic System, Responsible Maritime Governance, Development of Doctrines and Maritime Regimes. Parallel to the program ensuring safer ships, cleaner seas and secure maritime environment, the following are the CGDSTL’S accomplishment for this year.

Capacity building initiatives. CGDSTL was able to facilitate the donation of a 30, 910 square meters or almost 3.1 hectare lot located at Sabang Point, Brgy Cajimos, Romblon from the local government of Romblon for the future PCG Maritime Search and Rescue Base Facility.

Through the initiative of the former District Commander Commodore Rodolfo Isorena PCG in coordination with Congressman Eleandro Jesus F. Madrona, District of Romblon, a 1.5 hectare of land was donated to the Philippine Coast Guard for the aforesaid purpose. The following year, an additional 15, 910 square meters of land was successfully negotiated to increase the boundaries for the SAR base Romblon.

On January 6, 2009, Sangguniang Panlalawigan Resolution Hr 01-2009-02 and Provincial Ordinance Nr. 01 Series of 2009 of the Province of Romblon were adapted and enacted respectively. The lot donation was formally signed by no less than the Honorable Secretary of DOTC LEANDRO R MENDOZA, ADMIRAL WILFREDO D TAMAYO PCG, Commandant of the Philippine Coast Guard, and Congressman ELEANDRO JESUS F MADRONA of Romblon and the GOV. NATALIO P BELTRAN of Romblon Province and duly witnessed by the local government officials of Romblon

The realization of SAR Base Romblon will not only increase the presence of the CG unit in key maritime areas for maritime security purposes, but will also serve as a strategic deployment point for rescue during maritime incidents in the Southern Tagalog region, training ground, and part of the PCG infrastructure that contributes to national development programs and projects.

In the CGDSTL area of responsibility, two Coast Guard Detachments (CDG) were activated namely; CGD Talisay and CGD San Nicolas. This was done to address safely and security concerns that came with the increasing number of passenger of motorbancas plying taal lake. The CGD lot were donated by the local government of the Municipalities of Talisay and San Nicolas through the support of Mayor Florencio M. Manimtim Jr. and Mayor Epifanio R. Sandoval respectively. The construction of CGD Talisay Building was immediately started through the funding support if our higher headquarters and will be finished by the end of this year.

Likewise, the expanding maritime trade in Batangas has prompted Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) to build Port of San Juan, Batangas in order to serve the increasing needs in the area. The future site of our Detachment was made possible by the donation of Mr. Gerardo Tantay, a businessman from San Juan. The Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was formalized last March 20 2009 during the 26th anniversary celebration of CCGDSTL.

On the same date, another MOA was signed between Admiral Tamayo PCG, and Engr. Elmer Gardiola, a concern resident. The latter donated a piece of land for an additional CGD along the shores of Mataas na Kahoy. This is in anticipation of the increasing need for Maritime Security and Safety as tourism in the area continues to grow. Said need is further exacerbated by the limited accessibility of Taal Lake due to its geographical configuration thus the necessity of foresight in the capacity-building ofCGDSTL.

With the recent development of Batangas Port, a new policy was crafted to address the safety of the vessel plying the Batangas bay. In coordination with the Port Management Office (PMO) of Batangas, Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), a Traffic Separation Scheme (TTS) of Batangas Bay and approaches was established. Likewise, a new policy regarding restriction of passage along Maricaban Straight was formulated in order to safeguard the precious coastal communities where fish sanctuaries and coral reefs abound.

Having five (5) major ports under its jurisdiction, CGDSTL evidently plays a major role in ensuring the safety and security of passengers, vessel cargoes and the ports. For vessel safety, all CGDSTL Stations are working around the clock to ensure the safety and security of the vessels and the passengers especially during the peak season when there is an increase in the volume of passengers. The Stations regularly conducts the requisite Mandatory Pre-Departure Inspections (MPDI) on all vessels and ensure that machineries, navigational equipment and lifesaving appliances of the vessels are functional. Likewise our District was able to collect more than P164,000 pesos revenue. The officers and personnel of CGDSTL have always been vigilant in ensuring that commercial vessels and passenger-carrying motorbancas convey the required passenger capacity as per the Certificate of Public Conveyance issued by the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA).

With the installation of a Vessel Traffic Monitoring System or VTMS center at the Port of Batangas by PPA, safety of vessels traversing from the Verde islands passage and Batangas Bay towards Batangas or San Juan Port has been improve. Lateral coordination has been made with PMO Batangas for a joint manning at the VTMS center with CGDSTL personnel monitoring ships and watercrafts entering and leaving the Port of Batangas.

On Maritime Safety, The CGDSTL was previously maintaining 104 Light Stations. However, with the recent temporary deactivation/delisting of Lighthouse Station Maligaya and Light Station Bondoc located in San Francisco, Quezon and Gen Nakar, Quezon, respectively this district is currently maintaining a total of One Hundred Two (102) of which Ninety-nine (99) Lighthouse Stations are operational for Ninety-seven point five (97.05) percent Lighthouse efficiency. Out of these Lighthouse Stations, CGDSTL was fortunate to have a total of 42 with foreign grants under Maritime Safety Improvement Program (MSIP) Project and privileged to have three (3) historical lighthouse stations already adopted and maintained by the private individuals although under close monitoring and supervision by the PCG.

Last 7 May 2009, Mayor Juan M. Sanchez of the Municipality of Lubang Occidental Mindoro, requested the clearance and approval of PCG on the relocation of the Tilik Light House in Lubang, Occidental Mindoro from its present site to the new site inside the port of Lubang. Said relocation stemmed from the complaints by the ship owners and navigators regarding the ineffectiveness of the said lighthouse because of the height and visibility limitation aside from its present state of being unstable and having a weak foundation. The relocation and construction of the said lighthouse station will definitely ensure the safety of our navigators in the area.

Phase 1 of the PCG-JICA maritime communications enhancement project has been completed and activated in the CGDSTL area of responsibility last December 2008. Fast and direct communications are available between and among the headquarters and District units nationwide. External communication capabilities of PCG are enhanced and linked thru the use of the modern Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT).

On Maritime Search and Rescue, CGDSTL Stations are promptly responding to vessels and persons in distress. From October 2018 to date, CGDSTL has conducted a total of 86 SAR operations with 1,121 survivors rescued and about 43 dead bodies recovered.

The CGDSTL’s CG Stations maintain close coordination with other maritime stakeholders and various local government units in the area to ensure cooperation and assistance during maritime incidents.

On Marine Environmental Protection, CGDSTL has giving priority to the protection of marine environment and the preservation and marine resources. Its stations spearheaded the conduct of numerous coastal clean-up operations together with the government agencies, fishermen and coastal residents in their respective AOR. They also conducted dialogues with local residents and fishermen on the importance of clean environment and educated them about marine pollution and raised their environmental awareness.

From October 2008 to date, CGDSTL Marine Environmental Protection Group has supervised 124 dumping of organic waste from ship to ship and ship to shore Petroleum Oil Lubricants (POL) transferring. It has also inspected 968 domestic vessels and 2 land-based establishments pursuant to HPCG MC Nr 01-2005 dated 21 October 2005 or the revised rules on prevention, containment, abatement and control air pollution.

On the other hand, last 47 April 2009, Oil Spill Equipment Deployment Exercise was successfully conducted in collaboration with Pilipinas Shell Refinery. The exercise showed the active cooperation of the Oil Industry in responding to oil spill in coordination with CGDSTL or PCG in general as the lead agency for Marine Environmental Protection. The activity is also another way of enlightening participants and other Stakeholders on the vulnerability of Batangas Bay to oil spill incidents.

Law enforcement on maritime rules and regulations. Maritime Security is also an utmost concern of CGDSTL to ensure that no unscrupulous individual or groups could sow terror within the ports and vessels, thereby guaranteeing the safety and security of passengers and properties. To this effect, CGDSTL utilizes the K-9, Sea Marshal and its Intelligence Unit in order to detect security concerns and to assists in all ports to defer possible terroristic acts such other illegal activities that might be conducted inside the ports and vessels.

One special concern of CGDSTL is the security of the Malampaya Natural gas pipelines which from September 07 2000, the CGDSTL was tasked to provide together with the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine National Police its facilities and pipelines along the Mindoro And Batangas areas.

To constantly beef up always the security cordon at the pier area CGDSTL deploy it K-9 units everyday complemented by continues deployment of sea marshals and constant intelligence gathering activities against lawless elements in the area.

The noteworthy accomplishments of CGDSTL Stations in Maritime Security Operation from October 2008 to date are the following:

Interception of two (2) boxes containing 6,100 pieces of blasting caps and 3,050 pieces of time fuse, confiscation of four (4) boxes containing 6,084 pieces of fireworks, interception of twenty nine (29) sacks of ukay-ukay on board ALPS Bus bound for Iloilo, interception of guns and ammunitions to be transported via MV Supercat 20 bound of Calapan, recovery of one (1) unit Cal.22 Magnum with 50 rounds of ammos, interception of five (5) boxes containing 48 pieces per box of liquefied butane, interception of 20 Units of Airsoft M4 rifles.

Most recently CGDSTL confiscated 15 cartons of assorted firecrackers at the port of Lucena, 12 bottles of Ginebra San Miguel filled with ammonium nitrate with fuel oxidizer (ANFO) mixed with more or less 30 pieces of size 1.5 inches nails, two (2) improvised electric blasting caps with two(2) match of sticks and two (2) inches time fuse and ten (10) meter size 14 firing wire and intercepted 3,000 pieces of assorted VCDs/DVDs at the port of Batangas.

All of these accomplishments were achieved with the concerted efforts and CGDSTL personnel guided by the principle of public service to the nation for safer ships, cleaner seas and secure maritime environment. There are more things to be done and accomplished, and CGDSTL personnel are taking everything in stride to accomplish its mandated functions.