Every dog has its day.
Thursday was Bosh’s, when no less than President Benigno Aquino 3rd awarded him for helping retrieve bodies of earthquake victims in Bohol last year.
The eight-year-old Labrador upstaged all and was bestowed the Coast Guard Search and Rescue Medal and Ribbon during the Philippine Coast Guard’s (PCG) 113th anniversary celebration in South Harbor, Manila.
Bosh was cited “for being instrumental in recovering four cadavers during the search and retrieval operations in the aftermath of a 7.2 magnitude earthquake in Bohol” last year.
The canine had also been to Compostela Valley to search for bodies trapped by a landslide.
His handler Petty Officer 3 Zandro Fred Jizmundo said Bosh was donated to the PCG and had been with them for two years.
As a working dog, Bosh has a monthly salary equivalent to that of an apprentice seaman, which is about P14,000.
The salaries of working dogs are pooled together and allotted for their food and other needs.
Coast Guard spokesperson Cmdr. Armand Balilo said Bosh and the PCG’s other working dogs are deployed for search and rescue operations and to sniff out explosives, drugs and other dangerous chemicals.
Balilo said the Coast Guard now has 205 dogs, from only 10 more than a decade ago.
The PCG also honored some of its officers and personnel as well as civilians who rendered commendable services in the conduct of various PCG activities and missions.
They include Cmdr. Elizabeth Salabas, Best Auxiliary Officer of the Year; PO2 Marceline Alemania, Best Auxiliarist of the Year; and Cmdr. Leopoldo Laroya and Rear Adm. William Melad, Coast Guard Distinguished Service Medal and Ribbon Awardees.
Plaques of Appreciation were given to the Joint US Military Assistance Group; Col. Bruce Murray, Australian defense attache; Noriaki Niwa of JICA Philippines; Asian Institute for Maritime Studies; Maj. Gen. Rene Samonte of AFPBAL Inc.; Dr. James Dy of Filipino-Chinese Charitable Associations; and lawyer Asis Perez of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources.
The President also conferred awards on Seaman Second Class (SN2) Oliver Mazo, Enlisted Personnel of the Year; and Antonio Villamin, Civilian Employee of the Year.
The Coast Guards stations in Cebu, General Santos, Aparri and Brgy. Liminangcong in Palawan received CG Stations of the Year awards.