CANDELARIA, Zambales: A Canadian firm has installed for free in Zambales the first multimillion peso-coastal surveillance system equipped with a satellite in the Philippines, Gov. Hermogenes Ebdane Jr. announced here on Saturday.
The system worth $7.5 million was provided by Xanatus Maritime of Canada.
Ebdane said the Canadian firm can recover the cost later through collection of tariff from boats passing through the Zambales coast.
“It is a long-tern project beneficial to our province,” he added.
The project–Maritime Security Surveillance–will complement the Provincial Coast Watch System.
Its “purposes are to monitor all activities of sea vessels within the coastal waters of the province and to eventually raise necessary revenues from duties and fees from sea vessel activities,” the governor said.
“With one stone hitting two birds, we also intend to protect our territorial waters from any possible incursion of foreign ships into our exclusive waters,” Ebdane added.
He said the surveillance system was already in place and monitored on Saturday night 35 ships in the Zambales area.
Movements positions, gross weights and ship cargos from Olongapo City to the town of Santa Cruz in Zambales can be monitored using the Canadian-installed surveillance system, the governor said.
“Kung may kargang iligal, halimbawa, kontrabando, ay malalaman natin [If there is illegal cargo, for example, contraband, we will know, using the system]. We can later provide data to our national security agency,” he said.
The governor revealed the project during a visit to Masinloc town of 15 foreign journalists belonging to the East-West Center based in Honolulu, Hawaii.
The journalists gathered first-hand information on effects on local fishermen of escalating conflict in the South China Sea (West Philippines Sea).
Masinloc is near a reef in the South China Sea that is being contested by the Philippines and China.