THE Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Amenah Pangandaman took her oath as the newest appointed high-ranking member of the Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary (PCGA) on 19 May 2023.

On board one of PCG's largest ships, the BRP Melchora Aquino, PCG Commandant Admiral Artemio Abu presided over the Donning and Oath-Taking Ceremony for Secretary Pangandaman and other DBM officials.

In her message, Secretary Pangandaman commended the men and women of the PCG, as she vowed to help in its mission. The PCGA serves as a support force to the PCG in ensuring to save lives and property at sea, the preservation of the marine environment, the conduct of maritime search and rescue, the maintenance of aids to navigation, recreational safety, and other activities involving maritime relations.

Pangandaman added that the PCG, in carrying out its mission, needs full support for its capacity-building initiative through its modernization program.

"We also need strength, especially for ensuring security, and in doing search-and-rescue operations, among others. This is why we fully support the proposed modernization program of the PCG which entails not only the acquisition of top-of-the-line assets and equipment but also building the capacity and expansion of its workforce," Pangandaman said.

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"This is not an easy task. So, as Admiral Abu said, the perfect time for the PCG modernization program is now," the Budget Secretary added.

Pangandaman took her oath as Auxiliary Rear Admiral of the PCGA Executive Squadron. According to the PCG, this was the first time that the unit conferred a two-star general rank to a woman upon entry.

"Rest assured the DBM is one with you in the realization of your vision to become a world-class guardian of the sea committed to saving lives, ensuring maritime transport, and securing maritime jurisdiction," said Secretary Pangandaman.

For his part, PCG Commandant Admiral Artemio Abu thanked the newest batch of the PCGA, led by Secretary Pangandaman, for choosing the PCG as their vehicle for volunteer work and for appreciating the agency's cause.

"Their heavy workload did not stop them from seizing this opportunity to serve the nation more. This is what volunteerism and nation-building are all about individuals, regardless of their title, social status, religion, or age, doing what they can to look after other members of the community," Commandant Abu said.

"We in the PCG are joyfully welcoming you to our ranks as members of the PCG Family," he added.

Also part of the event was the conferment of the Civil Action Award to Secretary Pangandaman and DBM Undersecretary Goddes Hope Libiran, who is also an active member of the PCGA with the rank of Auxiliary Commodore.

The award was presented for the services they rendered in the medical and dental mission at the Dela Paz Norte, San Fernando, Pampanga which attended to 700 individuals.

Other newly-appointed members of the PCGA who took their respective oaths include DBM Functional Group Head of the Information and Communications Technology Group and Chief Information Officer Undersecretary Maria Francesca del Rosario, DBM Functional Group Head of the Communications, Advocacy, and Stakeholder Relations Group Undersecretary Margaux Marie Salcedo, DBM Functional Group Head of the Budget Policy and Strategy Group Undersecretary Joselito Basilio, DBM Functional Group Head of the Internal Management Group and Concurrent Chief of Staff Undersecretary Leo Angelo Larcia, DBM Functional Group Head of the Local Government and Regional Operations Group and Concurrent FGH of the Organization and Systems Improvement (OSI) Group Undersecretary Willford Will Wong, and other DBM and Department of Finance officials. DBM