PCG saves man after jumping off a ship in Sibuyan island

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 2, 2019   •   432

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) saved a 53-year-old man who jumped off a ship along the coast of Gallo island in Sibuyan on Monday (September 30).

Authorities reported that the man, identified as Carlito Cataylo, might have been suffering from depression.

The sea marshals that were on-duty at that time immediately saved Cataylo after his 60-year-old wife called out for help when he jumped from MV St. Michael de Archangel.

“Base doon sa report na natanggap namin medyo parang agitated siya. Nakainom pero noong tinanong parang may dinadaanan siyang depression, (Based on the report we received, he seemed agitated. He had a drink but when he was interviewed, it seemed like he is going through depression)” according to PCG Spokesperson Capt. Armand Balilo.

Cataylo was immediately given first aid.

Experts say it is not easy for individuals who are suffering from depression. They advise relatives to talk to their loved ones who are suffering from the mental illness. It is also better to consult a specialist.—AAC (with reports from Mai Bermudez)

Duterte names Ursabia as new PCG chief

Robie de Guzman   •   June 1, 2020

photo here: https://www.facebook.com/coastguardph/photos/a.115431275792202/536387257029933/?type=3&theater

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has appointed Vice Admiral George Ursabia as the new commandant of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).

In a letter of appointment signed by Duterte, Ursabia will take over the position effective June 1 as Admiral Joel Garcia retires from the Coast Guard Service.

Prior to his designation as new PCG chief, Ursabia served as the Commander of the PCG-Marine Environmental Protection Command (MEPCOM) and the Task Group Laban COVID-19 Water Cluster, which oversees the deployment and operations of PCG personnel to ensure the safety and security of the Filipino people in this time of pandemic.

He also commanded the Coast Guard Districts Central Visayas, Palawan, Southeastern Mindanao and Northern Luzon, aside from his other positions as the Commander of the Coast Guard Ready Force and Staff for Maritime Safety Affairs.

According to a PCG statement, Ursabia is a member of Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Hinirang Class of 1987.

He later pursued a Master of Science Degree in Maritime Safety and Environmental Protection as a scholar of Sasakawa Foundation, Japan and eventually earned the said post-graduate degree from the World Maritime University (WMU) in Malmo, Sweden in 1999.

Information from the PCG further stated that in Ursabia’s more than 36 years of active service, he held major positions both in the Philippine Navy and the PCG.

He is also a holder of “the most coveted Command-at-Sea Badge” as he commanded three Coast Guard SAR vessels namely BRP Romblon (SARV-3503), BRP Davao Del Norte (SARV 3504), and BRP Pampanga (SARV 003) as well as three (3) Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources 30-meter patrol boats, the agency said.

“I know that Vice Admiral Ursabia will continue the significant developments that as a leader at the helm must gear upon for the greater benefits of the Command,” Admiral Garcia stated.

23,000 OFWs test negative for COVID-19 after weeks of quarantine; over 14,000 may go home

Marje Pelayo   •   May 21, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Over 20,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFW) can finally breathe a sigh of relief after weeks of isolation in different quarantine facilities in Metro Manila since they arrived in the country.

This was after the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) confirmed that their tests yielded negative results for coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Over 14,000 of them have been cleared and may now go home to see their families.

Ang panuntunan ay pwede nang gamitin yung e-clearance para bumilis as agreed upon yesterday doon sa aming meeting. Pwedeng i-print at yung na yung gagamitin nila para makaalis na po doon sa kanilang mga hotel,” confirmed PCG Spokesperson Commodore Armand Balilo.

[They may now get an e-clearance to make it expedite the process as agreed upon our meeting yesterday. They may print a copy and present it to the hotel so they can leave.]

Balilo said the agency targets to process their clearances as soon as possible so they can finally travel home. 

Meanwhile, the official said that about 8,000 others are still waiting for their test results.

Balilo also confirmed that from all of the overseas Filipinos who arrived in the country so far, over 500 tested positive for COVID-19 and are currently being treated in government medical facilities. 

The list of names of OFWs with negative COVID-19 results may be viewed through PCG’s social media account. 

On Thursday (May 21), 41 seafarers whose jobs abroad were affected by the pandemic, finally boarded the service vessel which will bring them home to Visayas and Mindanao.

Despite the circumstances, the seafarers said they are just looking on the brighter side of the situation.

They are still thankful that they may now spend more time with their family.

Makakasama (ko na ang mga) bata. Take this opportunity na i-enjoy ang mga bata at ang pamilya, [I can now be with my children. Take this opportunity to enjoy time with the kids and family,” said Terresa Peres.

Sa bahay lang siguro kasi pagdating namin sa Bohol another 14 days na naman na quarantine, [I might stay at home because upon arrival in Bohol I will need another 14 days in quarantine],” added Alfonzo Baleleng.

Maraming salamat po sa mga sumuporta, sa nag-a-asikaso po sa amin, at sa agency po namin, lalo na sa government po natin na sinisikap po nila na mapauwi tayo lahat dito [I thank everyone for the support, to those who attended to our needs, to our agency and especially to our government for exerting efforts to bring us home],” expressed Vergintino Cagata. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

Nat’l Center for Mental Health opens 24/7 crisis hotline

Marje Pelayo   •   May 21, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The National Center for Mental Health (NCMH) 24/7 crisis hotline is now open to serve the public in response to the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte.

The President asked for such a hotline to ensure that the public is provided with appropriate mental health care amid the coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic. 

Anyone who is experiencing anxiety or other mental health issues may seek professional help through hotline numbers 0917-899-USAP (8727) or 8989-USAP (8727).

According to NCMH Chief Dr. Roland Cortez, it is important for a person experiencing anxiety or depression to have someone to talk to or someone to whom he or she can open up. 

Cortez said their experts on mental health are on call to provide the public their much needed assistance.

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