Phl gov't forms task force for salvage operation of US ship
Rosalinda L. Orosa (The Philippine Star) - January 21, 2013 - 10:00pm

MANILA, Philippines (Xinhua) - The Philippine government has created a task force that will coordinate with the United States Navy in the salvage operations of the minesweeper USS Guardian ( MCM 5) which remains stuck in the Tubbataha Reef, a senior government official said today.

Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said President Benigno Aquino III wanted to ensure that there is "close coordination" between Philippine and US authorities.

"We'll have one task force having direct liaison to the US Navy for salvage operations and marine environmental protection," said Abaya in a press briefing in Malacanang, the presidential palace.

The task force is headed by the Philippine Coast Guard and will have the Philippine Navy Western Command, the Philippine National Police, and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources as its members.

The USS Guardian has been stuck at the Tubbataha Reef since Jan. 17.

The minesweeper came from a port call in Subic Bay in northern Philippines and was on its way to Puerto Princesa City in the western Philippine province of Palawan when it ran aground in Sulu Sea.  

 

DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES PHILIPPINE COAST GUARD PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE PHILIPPINE NAVY WESTERN COMMAND PRESIDENT BENIGNO AQUINO PUERTO PRINCESA CITY SUBIC BAY SULU SEA TRANSPORTATION SECRETARY JOSEPH EMILIO ABAYA TUBBATAHA REEF UNITED STATES NAVY
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