US Embassy Manila Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) Michael Klecheski has transferred the custody of a new Joint Maritime Law Enforcement Training Center (JMLETC) to the Philippines.
JMLETC has been funded by the US Defense Threat Reduction Agency and is valued at more than PHP65.4m ($1.28m).
The training centre is part of the larger National Coast Watch System and has been designed to boost the Philippines' maritime domain awareness capabilities and prevent large-scale weapons from transiting through or near the country's territorial waters.
JMLETC will also be used to carry out maritime law enforcement training for the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), the Philippine Navy (PN), and the Philippine National Police (PNP) to improve vessel boarding, use of force, evidence preservation and case package preparation techniques.
The US Coast Guard (USCG) intends to send a team of maritime law enforcement experts to JMLETC over the coming weeks in order to conduct a one-week-long maritime law enforcement workshop with the three Philippine forces.
USCG will focus on sharing best practices during the workshop, in addition to improving the interoperability among the three participating agencies in support of the National Coast Watch System 2017 Field Training Exercises.
The field training activities are slated to take place in September in the Philippine cities of Manila, Palawan and Cebu.
Image: Officials participate in the blessing of the new Joint Maritime Law Enforcement Training Center in Puerto Princesa City, Philippines. Photo: courtesy of the US Embassy in the Philippines.