Tugade hails PCG head’s election as ReCAAP chair

By Chito Junia

TRANSPORTATION Secretary Arthur Tugade has lauded the recent election of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), through Rear Admiral Joel Garcia, as Chairman of the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP) describing it as testament to government’s dedication to promote safety and security in Philippine waters.

ReCAAP is the first regional government-to-government agreement to promote and enhance cooperation against piracy and armed robbery of ships plying the routes in Asia. 

PCG is an agency under DoTr in charge of ensuring the maritime safety in the country.

“This just proves that the drive of President Duterte to promote safety and security in this nation is being felt even outside the country” Tugade noted. 

Garcia PCG bested 20 other delegates from ReCAAP member-states that included superpowers in the Asia Pacific Region like China who came in second, the United States of America (USA), India, Japan and Korea among others.

Garcia’s presentation of the Philippine security plans and its security measures in the Basilan-Sulo-Tawi Tawi (BASULTA) area, including its implementation of the security safety environmental number system and the other Tugade-approved DOTr maritime security circulars, proved pivotal for PCG during the ReCAAP meeting and election at Singapore last March 20, 2018.

Philippine Ambassador to Singapore Joseph Del Mar Yap also hailed PCG’s election as ReCAAP Chair through RADM Garcia noting that “this being the only global organization headed by a Philippine government official”. 

Garcia, whose Muslin name is Hajji Muhammad Abdul Aziz Bin Yusuf is a licensed master mariner.

Meanwhile, according to an NYA24 MarTrack report, the record of piracy incidents in  Southeast Asia fell significantly in 2017 following a 10-year peak incidents in 2015. 

From January to November 2017, NYA24 recorded 24 incidents in Southeast Asia, representing a 21% decrease from 104 incidents over the same period in 2016.


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