Undersecretary Jose Luis Alano, the Executive Director of National Coast Watch Council Office of the Executive Secretary Office of the President, gave the opening remarks last Aug 7, 2015, for the commencement and gave the crowd encouraging words about coastal responsibility. It’s our pleasure to share it with you.
A beautiful morning to everyone! It is always wonderful to take delight, and appreciate the blessings that mother earth has to offer. The bright and sunny day, the clear blue sky, in spite of Typhoon Hanna, and the bounties of our seas.
Allow me to express my deepest gratitude, to share this significant occasion with you, the Recyclables Regatta, a noble and important activity, one that not only takes appreciation of our maritime environment, but more importantly takes action, to make us aware on how to protect her. Indeed, I am truly humbled and honored. My many thanks goes to the International Coastal Cleanup Zambales for the inviting me. To let you in on a secret of mine, although coming from a maritime family, my father was in the navy defending our country in WWII, my brother is now the Fleet Commander, also in the Philippine Navy, and having uncles and cousins who are merchant seafarers, or who depend on our maritime wealth for their livelihood, this is a first for me.
I beg your kind indulgence to take a moment, before anything else, to talk about the National Coast Watch System, and why, what you are doing, is so important to us. We are a new organization that was created under this administration, as an interagency body to address maritime and ocean issues. One of the things that we are currently doing, which some of you may be aware of, as we have selected Zambales as one of our Focus Group Areas, is the review of the National Marine Policy. Why Zambales? Aside from hosting, one of the safest and most beautiful natural harbors in the in this part of Asia, if not the world, it is also here, that we find the conglomeration of most of our nation’s key maritime activities. We will review the NMP under the framework of first defining our marine wealth, how to properly develop it, how to efficiently and effectively make use of it, whether this be of resource utilization, such fisheries, or through activities, such as maritime commerce or tourism, then how to secure it, and finally, related to our activity this morning, is how to sustain it for our people, for humanity, and for generations to come, through good governance under the "Tuwid Na Daan" program, with a vision that the Philippines be a global maritime nation. Yes! A very ambitious goal, but something, which we believe, that together we will be able to achieve.
In today’s world of turmoil, climate change, and disasters, thanks to the Great one from above, that Typhoon Hanna has spared us, it is not always easy for people in government to step back and see where we are going as a community. With much of our time devoted to serving constituents, saving lives, and mitigating the effects of human and natural disaster, we often lose track of the big picture. We must, however, take time to reflect, especially on the role of private individuals and organizations, which have the courage to believe, that what they do, will make a real difference.
It always amazes me to see, that the spirit, to be counted, and make a difference, by not only helping a fellow sailor in need, but also in protecting our precious marine environment, is alive and well in all of you. I believe that civil society and government, should continue to seek ways, to collaborate for the common good. We take therefore this opportunity to recognize your organizations, and each and every one of you for the valuable contributions, in areas such as marine environmental protection, solid waste management, search and rescue, and disaster response. We further look forward in the near future, where we hope to see the efficiency, expertise, professionalism and patriotism, that you possess, can be tap to assist our efforts in disseminating, and capacitating local government units for marine development, conservation, and enforcement. It is clear that your sense of national pride, more so, your big heart, are essential and crucial in closing the gap, between government and the private sector. We are witnessing this event unfold at this very moment, in this annual coastal cleanup, that you have organized, and the Recyclables Regatta that is about to begin.
We can relate society like a hand, with each individual finger, strong and healthy but standing apart, when use to strike is weak and vulnerable, but when brought together and more so when clenched as a fist, becomes strong and powerful. This is what we now have in the ICC Zambales, Rotary Club, and PCG Auxiliary as you approach your role in society, and making significant contributions to the well being of our maritime nation.
You in the private sector are becoming increasingly aware of the need to be responsible, not only to your shareholders, but also to the community in which you are part of. The term corporate social responsibility has gained increasing popularity, and is now becoming a norm rather than an exception.
As we embark in this race with the motivation of personal intentions, and a quest for glory, we take pleasure, that we also do so, more for a greater purpose, one that manifest our love for nature, expressed through the responsibility to preserve her, and commit ourselves to her protection for future generations. Simply having joined the race is victory in itself.
It is the intent of National Coast Watch Council to recommend to the President to promulgate 2016, as the year of the Archipelago, to highlight the fact, that we are nation that shall always have its character bound to the seas. In line with this we count on your ever dependable support and participation in maritime activities, that will advocate our maritime heritage.
Allow me to conclude with a quote from Lee Ayers, “Without a dream, there is no reason to work, without work, there is no reason to dream.” As we embark in our dream, to be a global leading maritime nation, it is comforting to know that we are not alone, but doing this noble cause in a collective and coordinated effort, in pursuit of a maritime environment of peace and stability, where we are able to raise the quality of life of the ordinary individual, protecting their individual rights, by giving them the opportunity of honest and decent livelihood, as well as increasing our awareness of the wonders that nature has to offer, and having great fun with it. Welcome to Recyclables Regatta and Mabuhay tayong lahat.
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Dedicated in creating a wave of change to help preserve our environment