MANILA – The Philippine Navy (PN) paid tribute to all medical and front-line personnel, especially those who have lost their lives, battling the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), as it celebrated its 122nd founding anniversary on Wednesday.
The celebration, which centered at the Navy headquarters in Naval Station Jose Andrada in Manila, commenced with a flag-raising ceremony that was led by Navy chief, Vice Admiral Giovanni Carlo Bacordo.
The Philippine flag was flown at half-mast simultaneously in all PN units across the country.
This was followed by a prayer, a one-minute moment of silence, and the synchronized blowing of ships’ horns or sirens, Navy public affairs office chief, Lt. Commander Maria Christina Roxas, said in a statement.
“All of these were to pay tribute to all medical workers and other front-line personnel tackling the (Covid-19), especially those we have lost along the way, including the long-time member of the PN board of advisers, Dr. Aileen Baviera, and Navy reservist Petty Officer 2nd Class Simplicio Dasargo,” Roxas said.
In his speech, Bacordo said the Navy, as a “learning organization”, should take advantage of the lessons from the pandemic “to sense the relevance and urgency of making our Navy a better, more responsive, more credible, and efficient protector of our Filipino people.”
“I encourage you, our Navy personnel, our maritime stakeholders, our government leaders, the Filipino people, to support the Navy’s effort to achieve our vision,” he said.
The PN’s 122nd anniversary was only attended by selected PN personnel who strictly observed physical distancing. It was witnessed by Navy units and the public via Facebook Live and video conferencing.
Outstanding units and personnel were also feted during the ceremony with the Philippine Fleet being adjudged as the Type Command of the Year; Naval Forces Western Mindanao as the Operating Forces of the Year; Naval Reserve Command as the Support Command of the Year; and Naval Intelligence Security Force as the Support Unit of the Year.
“In the midst of this pandemic, the PN does not waver in transforming the vision of becoming a strong and credible Navy set in this banner year of 2020 into a reality by being a constant and dependable partner of the government, other agencies, and stakeholders in providing much-needed services to the Filipino people,” Roxas said.
This year’s theme of the PN anniversary celebration is “Sailing These Turbulent Times Towards Our Maritime Nation’s Defense and Development”. (ia/PNA)