President Duterte has ordered the deployment of more Philippine Coast Guard units and personnel to secure ports and harbors across the country.
“There is a need for a comprehensive implementation of the President’s directive to prevent further loss of innocent lives and destruction of property in the entire Philippine territory, including the country’s maritime jurisdiction, with due respect for and protection of the fundamental civil and political rights of our citizens,” Memorandum Order No. 4 signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea expanding guidelines in the implementation of measures to suppress and prevent lawless violence in the country said.
Additional PCG units and personnel, therefore, shall immediately be deployed to increase visibility and security in all Philippine ports, harbors, and major coastal areas, the order added.
The memorandum also said that “with due regard to the constitutional rights of every individual, the PCG shall intensify its activities related to the enforcement and maintenance of maritime safety and security to prevent or suppress lawless violence at sea including, among others, the:
(i) inspection of all merchant ships and vessels to ensure compliance with safety standards, rules, and regulations;
(ii) surveillance and inspection of persons, vessels, and watercrafts navigating within the maritime jurisdiction of the Philippines and suspected of committing, or conspiring to commit, an offense in the Philippines, and;
(iii) control and flow of traffic of vessels within the maritime jurisdiction of the Philippines.” (Elena L. Aben)