PCG joins maritime exercises in Indonesia, calls for protection of marine environment – Manila Bulletin
The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) urged all countries to unite to protect the marine environment while participating in the opening ceremony of the Regional Marine Pollution Exercise (MARPOLEX) 2022 in Makassar, Indonesia , Tuesday, May 24.
The maritime exercise aims to enhance the cooperation and capability of Indonesia, the Philippines and Japan in firefighting, rescue and oil spill recovery operations through planning, command and the control and conduct of integrated operations.
BRP Teresa Magbanua (MRRV-9701), the PCG’s largest ship, sailed to Indonesia to participate in the maritime exercises. It was its first mission since its commissioning on May 6. She is joined by BRP Gabriela Silang (OPV-8301), BRP Malapascua (MRRV-4403) and BRP Cape Engaño (MRRV-4411).
Participating vessels will also test and evaluate the effectiveness of Indonesia’s Sulawesi Sea Oil Spill Response Network Plan and current Oil Spill Recovery and Response Capability procedures. from Indonesia and the Philippines.
Vice Admiral Rolando Lizor Punzalan, PCG deputy commander for the administration, underscored the importance of the drills saying everyone is prone to oil spills as ships cross the oceans to support the global economy .
“Oil spills will continue as long as the oceans remain our efficient means of transporting oil. For this unavoidable nature of oil spills, we gather here in the regional MARPOLEX 2022 and reflect on the best ways to eliminate the adverse effects of these incidents,” Punzalan said.
“We must not only develop responses to unfortunate incidents but, more importantly, prevent oil spills by enforcing and implementing laws that protect our marine environment from pollution,” he added. .
The MARPOLEX 2022 takes place in nearby waters off South Sulawesi, strategically located in the Archipelagic II Seaways of Indonesia.
The location plays a vital role in connecting international and domestic shipping and records a high intensity of maritime operations, oil and gas activities and other maritime operations in Makassar waters, Budi Karya Sumadi said, Minister of Transport of the Republic of Indonesia.
“It certainly increases the risk of accidents resulting from oil spills that pollute and damage the marine environment. Thus, the preparation of personnel and equipment is necessary to overcome maritime disasters as an assistance for the Makassar Strait region,” Sumadi said.
During the ceremony, the PCG and the Directorate General of Maritime Transport (DGST) of the Republic of Indonesia reached a brotherly agreement to advocate for multilateral cooperation to deal with major spills in the Asian region.
Punzalan also acknowledged the role of the Japan Coast Guard (JCG) in ensuring the operational readiness of the Philippines and Indonesia in the event of an oil spill, calling MARPOLEX “an opportunity to share new knowledge and techniques in the field protection of the marine environment”.
“This joint maritime exercise between the Philippines, Indonesia and Japan symbolizes our strong spirit of cooperation in times of emergency and disaster,” he concluded.
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