FOREIGN Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo highlighted the significance of a comprehensive and efficient interagency coordination among concerned government agencies to secure the Philippines’ sovereignty and sovereign rights as the country faces challenges from China’s aggression in the disputed areas in the South China Sea.
Manalo, in his remarks during a visit at the National Headquarters of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and the BRP Melchora Aquino (MRRV-9702), one of the two largest PCG patrol vessels, said it is also important to understand the capabilities as well as the challenges of those in the frontlines in asserting and securing the Philippines’ sovereignty and sovereign rights in PH maritime zones.
He was accorded with full arrival honors by the PCG, led by its Commandant CG Admiral Artemio M. Abu.
Manalo was with Civilian Security and Consular Affairs Undersecretary Jesus S. Domingo, Spokesperson Ma. Teresita C. Daza, Policy Planning and Coordination Assistant Secretary Patrick A. Chuasoto, Maritime and Ocean Affairs Assistant Secretary Maria Angela A. Ponce, Asian and Pacific Affairs Assistant Secretary Aileen S. Mendiola-Rau, and other DFA officials.
The delegation then proceeded to tour BRP Melchora Aquino and received a briefing on the work of the Coast Guard, including the implementation of their mandate in the West Philippine Sea.
Abu expressed his appreciation for the Department’s support of the PCG, the effort to foster maritime cooperation with regional partners mindful of the needs of the Coast Guard, and the readiness to work together in managing, within the respective mandates of the offices, the security concerns faced in the West Philippine Sea.