The U.S. embassy in Philippines transferred custody of a new joint maritime law enforcement training center (JMLETC) to the Philippine government in a ceremony on in Magarwak, Barangay Santa Lourdes, Puerto Princesa City, on August 4.
The center is valued at over Php 65.4 million (approx. US$1.3 million) and is funded by the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency.
JMLETC is part of the larger National Coast Watch System and is designed to bolster the Philippines’ maritime domain awareness capabilities and to stop large-scale weapons from transiting through or near Philippine territorial waters.
The facility will also be used to conduct maritime law enforcement training for the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), Navy (PN), and PNP to enhance vessel boarding, use of force, evidence preservation, and case package preparation techniques.
In the coming weeks, the U.S. Coast Guard will send a team of maritime law enforcement experts who will conduct a one-week maritime law enforcement workshop with PCG, PN, and PNP. This workshop will focus on sharing best practices and enhancing the interoperability among the three participating agencies in support of the National Coast Watch System 2017 field training exercises scheduled to take place in Manila, Palawan, and Cebu in mid-September.