In celebration of Women’s Month, the first women generals of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) have shared the impact and responsibilities of their roles in a male-dominant organization.
“Being the most senior female Coast Guard officer napakabigat talaga ng (it is a huge) responsibility because you have to be the role model for the other female PCG personnel,” said Commodore Luz Escarilla in an interview over CNN Philippines.
Escarilla and Fran Eden were among the eight PCG personnel promoted to the rank of Commodore, or equivalent to Brigadier General in the Army.
They are both physicians and at the frontline on the government’s response to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Escarilla is assigned to the Coast Guard Civil Relations Service and is on the frontline in handling he Task Group Quarantine Facility for the returning Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs).
Eden, on the other hand, is assigned to the PCG Medical Service.
She underscored that given the huge responsibility, she also needed to sacrifice time to be away with her family as a safety precaution against COVID-19.
“Equivalent non hindi ka lagi nakakauwi (you will not always go home with your family), we have to really need to protect our family,” Eden told CNN Philippines.
An answered prayer and inspiration
However, both Escarilla and Eden expressed gratitude and felt blessed to be the first female generals of the PCG.
“What I felt was I’m really blessed, it’s more like a blessing and an answered prayer,” Escarilla said.
“If there is something good that came out of COVID-19 [pandemic], this is probably God’s way of promoting us women because we are really up there holding the line for the PCG,” Eden said.
Meanwhile, Eden said that all PCG female officers were supportive for the both of them as this happened for the first time in the history of the organization.
“Our successors are very hopeful that this would be repeated in their time,” Eden added.
Escarilla underscored that this proved that women are equally efficient among male PCG officers.
“This time we prove that women are equally efficient with the male counterpart especially with the PCG, before and until now [in] this male dominant organization,” Escarilla said.
The promotion of the two was recommended by PCG officials and Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade on February 15.