The military’s Northern Luzon Command (Nolcom) based in Camp Aquino, Tarlac City hopes to increase public awareness of maritime issues initially through spearheading a forum on the issue – together with other agencies and stakeholders – in Lingayen, Pangasinan tomorrow.
Edd Gumban
AFP seeks higher public awareness of maritime issues
Michael Punongbayan (The Philippine Star) - April 24, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is working on increasing public awareness of maritime issues, including the country’s territorial dispute with some of its neighbors, particularly China.

The military’s Northern Luzon Command (Nolcom) based in Camp Aquino, Tarlac City hopes to achieve this initially through spearheading a forum on the issue – together with other agencies and stakeholders – in Lingayen, Pangasinan tomorrow.

Nolcom public information office chief Lt. Col. Isagani Nato said resource speakers will discuss developments in the West Philippine Sea and South China Sea issue as well as efforts being made to safeguard the country’s territorial waters and exclusive economic zone.

He explained that Nolcom’s area of operation covers the biggest maritime area in the country – West Philippine Sea where Bajo de Masinloc or Panatag Shoal is located, Luzon Strait in the area of Batanes Islands and Philippine Rise off Casiguran, Aurora.

“Being responsible for protecting the biggest maritime area in the country, Nolcom finds it necessary to involve all stakeholders to contribute to the overall effort of securing the Northern Maritime Frontier,” Nato said yesterday.

“Thus, collaboration and integration of efforts is paramount to achieve desired common goals,” he added.

“With its core purpose, Nolcom will continue to advance peace and development, fight for our people’s rights and threats to peace, development and security, and protect our sovereign territory,” he said.

The United States and Philippines armed forces, meanwhile, will conduct “subject matter expert exchanges” at various military installations throughout the Philippines beginning tomorrow until May 4.

In a statement, the US Pacific Air Forces Public Affairs said American and Filipino airmen are set to participate in exchanges that will cover command and control tactics and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief responses.

The US participation in the event is upon the invitation of the Philippine government, the statement said.

As part of the program, the US will send HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters and airmen from units across the Pacific to Clark Air Base and Mactan-Benito Ebuen Air Base in the Philippines.

“The exchange is the sixth iteration of the US-Philippine Air Contingent established by US Pacific Command and executed by Headquarters Pacific Air Forces,” the statement read.

The first US-Philippine Air Contingent was in April 2016.

ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES MARITIME ISSUES SOUTH CHINA SEA DISPUTE
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