MANILA The complex problem of security risks in the Philippine waters will not cease unless the government can address its roots and causes, according to the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).
During the National Marine Summit 2019 at the Manila Hotel on Tuesday (Oct. 29), PCG deputy commandant for operations Vice Admiral Leopoldo Laroya said the Philippines, as an archipelagic country that relies heavily on its marine resources, should make sure that its maritime jurisdictions are safeguarded.
He made the call, as he noted that the country is facing many security challenges in its maritime domain.
We are bombarded with so many problems as far as maritime interests are concerned, Laroya said.
The complex problem of traditional and non-traditional threats will continue until the roots and causes are addressed, he added.
The PCG official then cited the security threats that are besetting the Philippine waters.
He noted that the Philippine Rise, a 13-million hectare undersea region that lies east of Luzon, is confronted with gas exploitations and illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.
The West Philippine Sea, on the other hand, faces challenges on territorial claims, the militarization of disputed islands, reclamation activities by China to create artificial islands, unregulated fishing and marine ecological destruction, Laroya emphasized.
He also cited that southwest Mindanao is challenged by maritime terrorism, kidnapping at sea, transnational crimes, human trafficking and smuggling of goods, as well as territorial claims.
He further said that the maritime area southeast of the Philippine archipelago deals with threats of terrorism, transnational crime, human trafficking, piracy, and illegal fishing.
Laroya, nevertheless, ensured that the PCG would exhaust all means to pursue a safe, clean and secure maritime environment.
To address the problems, Laroya said sustained vigilance and strict monitoring efforts must be observed.
Maintenance and promotion of maritime security in the country's maritime jurisdiction cannot be solved by a single agency. Partnership with other counterparts is of vital significance, Laroya said. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency