PH hosts 1st South East Asia co-op and training exercise vs. illegal drugs and terrorism

UNTV News   •   August 21, 2017   •   4505

MANILA, Philippines — The South East Asia Cooperation and Training or SEACAT Exercise 2017 began on Monday in the Philippines.

This is a yearly multilateral maritime security information sharing exercise in Asia.

For the first time, this year’s SEACAT exercise focuses on anti-terrorism efforts and on preventing the spread of illegal drugs through the maritime sector.

“We have a porous border. The campaign of the president against illegal drugs should be intensified, as well as his campaign against terrorism. In terms of the illegal drugs menace, the US Coastguard, in particular, is expert on that matter,” said Philippine Coast Guard Spokesperson Cmdr. Armand Balilo.

“Addressing terrorism is also important because we are now guarding the Southern Philippines. This is so that those attempting to wreak havoc in the country will not be able to enter,” he added.

45 members of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and the Philippine Navy represented the country in the maritime drill.

This was also the first time the Philippine Navy and PCG participated in the SEACAT since its inception in 2002.

The SEACAT is led by the US Coast Guard with representatives from other Southeast Asian Coast Guards and navies like the Indonesian Coast Guard or BAKAMLA, Indonesia Navy, Sri Lanka Navy, Royal Thai Navy and the Thai Maritime Law Enforcement Coordinating Center.

The SEACAT has three phases. First is the academic seminar which is held in Singapore. Second is the boarding workshop held here in the Philippines and the command post exercise which will be held in Singapore and Brunei.

The US and South East Asian navies and coast guards will deploy their vessels and aircraft here in the Philippines, with the special operations group to do the deployment in Subic, Zambales and the Philippine Navy in several parts of Sulu.

Meanwhile, the PCG clarified that the Philippines’ relationship with China will not be tarnished by the two countries’ territorial dispute over the West Philippine Sea.

“We have a clear cut guidance from the president. We have agreements, in fact we have law enforcement teams to be sent to China. So whatever the conflict in terms of territory would be, we are leaving it up to the Department of Foreign Affairs,” Balilo said. – Aiko Miguel | UNTV News & Rescue

Chinese tourist dead, 27 rescued in Boracay boat mishap

Robie de Guzman   •   January 22, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – A Chinese national died while 27 others were rescued after an island-hopping boat capsized in waters off Boracay Island on Tuesday, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said.

The PCG said its personnel from Boracay sub-station were able to rescue 25 tourist passengers as well as three crew members of the boat.

However, the rescuers failed to revive a 45-year old female tourist despite performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

Three other female passengers who needed medical assistance were brought to the nearest hospital.

“They have regained consciousness and are declared safe and in good condition,” the PCG said.

Remaining survivors are also safe and in good physical condition, the agency added.

The coast guard said motorbanca “Jocelyn 1” capsized along the waters off Barangay Balabag in Boracay after encountering strong winds that broke the boat’s outrigger on Tuesday morning.

PH, Japan Coast Guard conduct joint maritime drill in Manila waters

Robie de Guzman   •   January 22, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and Japan Coast Guard (JCG) conducted a joint maritime exercise in the waters off the Philippine Capital.

In a statement, the PCG said coast guard personnel from two countries participated in a vessel towing exercise held on Tuesday, January 21.

They also conducted several drill scenarios involving response and rendering necessary assistance to a vessel in distress.

The PCG said the said activity is part of the five-day practical training course on towing and firefighting for the crew members of BRP Malabrigo (MRRV 4402), BRP Kalanggaman (FPB 2404), and PB 151 from January 20 to 24, 2020.

The joint maritime exercise between the PCG and the JCG, along with the Japan International Cooperation Agency, was conducted to enhance their capability on vessel operations, maintenance planning, and maritime law enforcement.

PCG still searching for missing 7 Pangasinan fishermen

Robie de Guzman   •   January 21, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on Tuesday said search operations are still ongoing for the seven fishermen who went missing after they left the shores of Dasol, Pangasinan.

In a statement, the PCG said an aerial search is being conducted to look for the missing fishermen. Personnel from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Philippine Air Force and the Philippine Navy are also assisting in the search and rescue operations.

The missing fishermen onboard FB Narem 2 reportedly went out to catch some fish last January 6. The group was expected to return to Infanta, Pangasinan on January 14, according to fishing boat owner Christine Macaraig.

The vessel is skippered by Alberto Roldan, with crew members Roderick Montemayor, Homar Maglantay, Jerome Maglantay, Ejay Dela Cruz, Larry Legaspi, and Jefferson Bernabe.

The fishing vessel’s location was last reported at 60 to 90 nautical miles off Camaso Island in Dasol.

The PCG said another vessel will be deployed to help in the search effort.

The agency also called on other local fishers to report to authorities any sighting of the missing fishermen. — RRD (with details from Correspondent Aiko Miguel)

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