Coast Guard to welcome US VP Harris on BRP Teresa Magbanua

Coast Guard to welcome US VP Harris on BRP Teresa Magbanua
FILE - This March 11, 2022 photo shows the Philippine Coast Guard's new flagship vessel BRP Teresa Magbanua (MRRV-9701) upon its arrival in Manila.
The STAR / Walter Bollozos

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Coast Guard will welcome US Vice President Kamala Harris aboard BRP Teresa Magbanua (MRRV-9701) in Puerto Princesa, Palawan during her visit on November 22, it disclosed Thursday. 

The 97-meter Kunigami-class multi-role response patrol ship is the coast guard's flagship vessel, which the Philippine government acquired in May with the assistance of the Japan International Cooperation Agency through a development assistance loan.

In a statement sent to reporters, CG Cdre Armando Balilo, said Harris would receive a briefing on the Coast Guard's current maritime operations in Palawan. This will occur after the vessel tour onboard one of the two biggest PCG vessels to date. 

"Aside from Coast Guard officers, officials from the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police, Department of Transportation, and local government units will board BRP Teresa Magbanua to listen to the vice president's address," Balilo said.

Harris will also be welcomed by CG V. Adm. Rolando Lizor Punzalan Jr (deputy commandant for operations) CG Capt. Christopher Meniado (CG district commander for Palawan), and the Magbanua's skipper, CG Comm. Erwin Tolentino.

In a background briefing earlier Wednesday, Harris' office said that the US vice president was scheduled to meet with President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. and Vice President Sara Duterte from November 20 to 22 before traveling to Palawan in a historic visit to demonstrate America’s commitment to the rule of law in the South China Sea. 

Manila calls the part of the South China Sea within the Philippines' Exclusive Economic Zone the West Philippine Sea.

Harris is also expected to meet with civil society leaders, participate in a town hall meeting on empowering women and girls.

The US vice president's visit marks the first time in five years that a top White House official came to the Philippines since then-US President Donald Trump visited the country in 2017.


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