The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) has said that PCG chief Admiral George V. Ursabia Jr. has immediately directed all stations and sub-stations under the Coast Guard District National Capital Region – Central Luzon (CGDNCR-CL) and the Coast Guard District Southern Tagalog (CGDSTL) to intensify intelligence gathering and maritime patrol operations in the vicinity waters of Manila Bay and Southern Luzon to prevent or deter the occurrence of robbery incidents.
This is after Singapore Navy’s Information Fusion Centre reported on increasing number of robbery incidents in the ports of Manila and Batangas.
PCG noted that this is also in such a time when the Department of Transportation (DOTr) works on strengthening its commitment to make the Philippines an international crew change hub.
“Port personnel of CGDNCR-CL and CGDSTL also increase the conduct of boarding inspections on suspicious vessels and watercraft roaming in the said vicinity waters during nighttime as part of the intensified maritime security measures,” PCG said.
PCG said morning of September 10, BRP Malapascua (MRRV-4403) apprehended two motorbancas for violation of the DOTr Memorandum Circular No. 2017 – 001 concerning the implementation of the Safety, Security, and Environmental Numbering (SSEN) System for all Philippine-registered vessels or watercraft.
“Said circular is implemented by assigning a unique identification number for each vessel or watercraft to enhance maritime security within the Philippine maritime jurisdiction by preventing the usage of SSEN-registered vessels and watercraft in the conduct of maritime infractions such as robbery, piracy, and terrorism,” PCG said.
“The PCG is also actively coordinating with various law enforcement agencies and local government units to ensure that the Philippine waters, especially its crew change hubs, are safe and secured for the conduct of all activities related to the movement and growth of the international maritime industry,” it added.