Boholanos and tourists can expect a more reliable, aggressive, daring maritime safety and security, implementation of maritime laws and its related maritime environmental laws as the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) in Bohol gets a young consummate officer and gentleman as its new commander.
This as Captain Edgar Boado relinquished his command of Bohol Coast Guard to a 34 year old well decorated officer, barely five months after he assumed the post in October 2017.
During a formal turn over ceremonies held at Jjs Seafoods Village March 8, no less than PCG Visayas head Commodore Lyndon Latorre officiated the turn-over of command flag from Captain Boado to Lt. Erikzon Laza, a pilot, competitive swimmer and true blooded Caviteno.
A graduate at De LaSalle Dasmarinas in Cavite, Laza recently took the Coast Guard Command and Staff Course and graduated 5th among 39, followed on with Coast Guard Station Commanders Course and emerged top among 19 students.
Laza however did not just breeze through his officer-ship without hurdling through the filed life of a coast guard.
From getting his appointment as probationary ensign in 2005, he worked his way to commission-ship until his full appointment as full ensign in 2007, the PCGs lowest rank.
In 2007, he earned his rank by promotion as Lieutenant Junior Grade while working at the Coast Guard Education and Training Command from Tactics department to Assistant Commandant, to Education and Training Officer in 2013.
Simultaneous with the position, Laza also worked in the CGAG Awards and Decorations Board, and helped in the review of the aircrew management manual.
From this position, Laza the assumed the Assistant Air Unit Commander for PCG’s air unit in Palawan in 2012. At the same time, he acted as Admin and supply officer for the PCG Aviation Training Squadron, transiting to training officer, operations, admin and personnel.
He also sat as training director for Avionics Specialist Course, Helicopter Underwater Escape Training, supervised the Avionics Machinist Specialization Course and Landing Gear Technicians Course as a consummate fixed wing aircraft pilot and maintenance expert.
In his breast hangs 12 CG awards of Merit Medal and ribbon, 5 commendation medals and ribbons, 3 civc action ribbons, Disaster relief and rehabilitation operation ribbon and at least two presidential citations.
In Lt. Laza’s assignment to Bohol, Commodore Latorre said he expects a better organized lifeguard and dive safety protocol set up as Laza is an accomplished swimmer who had his glory days at the national games.
In Laza’s command would be a team of 65 officers and men who would be keeping an eye on Bohol’s 271 kilometers of coast lines, kilometers upon kilometers of waters and thousands of lives taking the various sea transports as commuters and tourists enjoying the bounty of pristine environment.
Taking the command from Captain Boado, Laza may be coming in with a big shoe to fill.
Boado, who came in to spearhead the ASEAN maritime safety and security during the Bohol hosting of the international conference kept a record of zero ASEAN related incidents until the end of the conferences.
Laza however has an ace in his assignment here; in his disposal are generally young and daring coast guard personnel who have proven that the job is not just confined to clearing boat trips as most people think. (PIA)