LEGAZPI CITY: The Naval Forces Southern Luzon (Navforsol) deployed two rigid hull inflatable boats (RHIBs) worth P28 million to beef up security measures a few days before the arrival of 32 foreign ministers from the Asia Pacific Region and East Asia for the upcoming United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean) conference on May 14-20, 2014 at the Oriental Legazpi Hotel here.
Over 1,000 delegates are expected to arrive in Legazpi City for the six-day gathering for the signing of the “Global Code of Ethics for Tourism” by Taleb Refai, UNTWO secretary general.
This will be witnessed by Elizaldy S. Co, owner of Misibay Bay Resort and Casino in Cagraray Island, Department of Tourism Bicol Director Maria Ravanilla, Rep. Al Francis Bichara (2nd district) and Legazpi Mayor Noel Rosal.
To test the capability of newly acquired RHIBs, Commodore Franco Sebastian Pan, Navforsol commander; Office of Civil Defense (OCD) Bicol Director Bernardo Rafaelito Alejandro; General Raul Farnacio, commanding officer of the Army’s 901st Infantry Brigade; and Col. Joannis Dimaano, commander of Tactical Operations Group 5-Philippine Air Force, went on a bay cruise from the port of Legazpi going to Sula Channel as well as Misibis Bay Resort in Cagraray Island.
Pan said the RHIBs could go as fast as 35 knots or 70 kilometers per hour and they are three times faster than commercial vessels.
The RHIBs are armed with machine guns and could accommodate eight navy seal members—elite troops of the Philippine Navy.
Pan said the RHIBs would be stationed at Navforsol even after the UNWTO for maritime security operations and emergencies.
“We’re requesting one more multi-purpose attack sea craft with armaments that could carry a platoon of soldiers,” he added.
The Philippine Air Force would also deploy an air ambulance for the UNWTO event.