Philippine Coast Guard Day Date in the current year: October 17, 2024

Philippine Coast Guard Day Philippine Coast Guard Day (Araw ng Tanod Baybabin ng Pilipinas) is observed annually on October 17. It is a working holiday commemorating the establishment of the Bureau of Coast Guard and Transportation in 1901.

Since the Philippines is located on an archipelago, the coast guard plays an important role in maintaining the country’s safety and security. The Philippine Coast Guard is one of the oldest coast guard organizations in Southeast Asia. Its history can be traced back to the military rule of the United States in the Philippines. One of the first steps that the U.S. interim military government undertook when Spain ceded the Philippines to the United States in 1898 was the reopening of the port of Manila and customs facilities.

On October 17, 1901, the Philippine Commission (a legislative body with limited executive powers appointed by the U.S. president) enacted a law creating the Bureau of Coast Guard and Transportation under the Department of Commerce and Police. This day is considered the birthday of the Philippine Coast Guard. The bureau oversaw the transportation system for government services and the lighthouse service. In 1905, the Bureau of Coast Guard and Transportation was replaced with the Bureau of Navigation, which was abolished in 1913.

The revival of the Philippine coast guard occurred after the end of World War II, when the Philippines gained independence from the United States. The Philippine government transferred the functions typically performed by the coast guard to the coast guard unit of the Philippine Naval Patrol, the predecessor to the Philippine Navy. In 1967, the Philippine Coast Guard officially became a major unit within the Philippine Navy.

Since the functions of the Philippine Coast Guard were civilian in nature, it was separated from the Philippine Navy and transferred from the Department of National Defense to the Office of the President, and eventually to the Department of Transportation and Communications (now the Department of Transportation) in 1998. However, during wartime the Philippine Coast Guard also reports to the Department of National Defense.

The transformation of the coast guard into a civilian service made it possible for the coast guard to receive assistance from other countries, something which would be much harder for a military agency. Even though the Philippine Coast Guard is a non-military organization, it is an armed and uniformed service. It enforces laws within Philippine territorial waters, safeguards life and property at sea, ensures the safety of merchant vessels, protects marine environment and resources, and conducts search and rescue operations.

The Philippine Coast Guard maintains a presence throughout the Philippine Archipelago. It has thirteen Coast Guard districts, 54 stations and more than 190 sub-stations across the country. It operates multi-role response vessels, search and rescue vessels, offshore patrol vessels, patrol crafts, support vessels (buoy tenders and tugboats), and minor boats, as well as aircraft (light airplanes, helicopters, and UAVs).

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