MANILA, Philippines – The US government provided nearly P1 billion for the National Coast Watch Center, the newly inaugurated facility that will enhance the country's maritime domain awareness and boost its capacity to respond to different threats at sea.
It also improves the country's defense capacity as maritime disputes in the South China Sea continue to escalate.
"The U.S. has provided $20 million (P890 million) to date for the center that provides critical information fusion and 24 hour operations to support enhanced awareness of the Philippines’ maritime domain," the US embassy said in a statement.
"The National Coast Watch Center is a multi-year partnership funded by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency as part of the WMD Proliferation Prevention Program’s Maritime Security project," the embassy statement added.
The facility built inside the headquarters of the Philippine Coast Guard was inaugurated on Tuesday, April 28.
Still on Phase 1, the National Coast Watch Center when completed is meant to provide a total picture of the country's waters from information coming from stations, sensors and ships scattered in the long coastline of the Philippines. (Read more about the facility here.) – Rappler.com
Watch Undersecretary Jose Luis Alano, executive director of the National Coast Watch Council Secretariat, explain the role that the facility plays in the event of crises at sea.
US$1 = P44.5