National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. said in a forum last week that satellite technology is needed to monitor the vast area of West Philippine Sea.
“Diplomatic actions could be taken, some military solutions could be taken sa range ng options natin na pwede nating gamitin but it’s pretty much on diplomatic action,” Esperon said as quoted by ABS-CBN News.
He explained that it is hard to monitor and protect the West Philippine Sea which has 2,000 nautical miles.
“Di pwedeng ang deployment mo diyan ay barko sa barko or fishing boat sa fishing boat. It should be other means, satellite,” he said. “Because of the size, it becomes a challenge because it’s simply too big for our assets to cover but there are enhancements to that.”
“Sometime July or so, meron na tayong sariling imagery satellite which was a project of the DOST that could give us images of the area and therefore give us a constant picture of the whole domain,” he said.
However, Esperon said that the Philippines has the capability to intercept illegal fishing vessels.
“We have the capability, we have monitoring stations sa coastlines natin,” he said. “Now if you would ask me, kumukuha ba sila ng permiso, kalimitan hindi because kulang pa yung enforcement natin eh. So dapat ang focus natin is to develop our surveillance and regulatory capabilities diyan sa lugar na yan so that we could develop it into a rich and viable source of income.”