In recognition of the extensive U S partnership with the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), US Ambassador Sung Kim visited the Balagtas Training Center to observe the first technical course conducted there on outboard motor maintenance on Thursday, October 30.
Commodore Joseph Badajos, Commander of PCG’s Surface Support Force, hosted the visit to the future home of PCG’s technical workforce development. The US is assisting PCG with developing the Balagtas Training Center in several phases.
The first phase – Outboard Motor Center of Excellence – included a classroom, engine maintenance laboratory, and barracks. US Coast Guard teams are conducting a series of training events that will prepare PCG instructor candidates to lead future maintenance courses.
Ambassador Kim and Commodore Badajos also discussed the next phase of the project, which will include a much larger, 16-classroom US-funded structure that will enable PCG to simultaneously train up to 200 personnel on a variety of technical specialties related to maritime engineering and seamanship.
Scheduled for completion in early 2021, this enhanced training capacity will help maintain the operational readiness of PCG’s expanding fleet to conduct maritime law enforcement operations.
Earlier, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) launched a new Food for Progress project focused on strengthening sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) regulatory systems in the Philippines.
Visiting US Under Secretary of Agriculture for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Ted McKinney met with Philippine Under Secretary of Agriculture Rodolfo Vicerra and Under Secretary of Health Rolando Enrique Domingo to discuss the four-year project, which will be funded with the proceeds of donated US agricultural commodities sold in the Philippine market.
The most recent Food for Progress project in the Philippines used U.S. soybean meal as the donated commodity.
Food for Progress is a USDA program that partners with developing countries and emerging democracies committed to introducing and expanding free enterprise in the agricultural sector. – BusinessNewsAsia.com