The Philippine Coast Guard has deployed two of its vessels for maritime security in Benham Rise.
The PCG sent multi-role response vessel 4403, BRP Malapascua, and monitoring, control, and surveillance 3001 to patrol the 13-million hectare undersea region.
The MCS boat is jointly operated by the PCG and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources.
PCG spokesperson Commander Armand Balilo said the vessels were deployed to “monitor the joint fisheries research activity” in the area.
Balilo said that BRP Malapascua and MCS-3001 departed from the PCG main headquarters in Manila last May 3.
Last month, the PCG sent its Islander plane in Behnam Rise in preparation for deployment of the two ships.
Benham Rise, which is reportedly rich in biodiversity and minerals, covers around 13 million hectares east of Luzon and is 35 meters underwater at its shallowest point off the provinces of Aurora and Isabela. (Raymund F. Antonio)