NEW Navy chief Rear Admiral Caesar Taccad on Monday vowed to secure and protect Philippine seas and to respond to the threat posed not only by enemies of the state but calamities as well.
“We shall continue to be a defendable naval force prompt in response and sharp in action. We will persistently aim for a stable, productive and constructive relationship with our maritime stakeholder and partner navies to preserve the peace in the Asia-Pacific region,” he said during the change of command.
Taccad replaced Vice Admiral Jesus Millan who retired from military service.
President Benigno Aquino 3rd urged Navy troops to remain steadfast in their duties in securing and protecting the country’s maritime territories amid China’s increasing efforts to stake its claim in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).
In his speech, Aquino emphasized the recent challenges faced by the Philippines in protecting its waters, and highlighted the increasingly important role the Navy must play to keep Filipinos safe.
He then told Taccad to maximize the use of naval capabilities to address security challenges.
“Di biro ang bago mong tungkulin: Masalimuot ang mga pagsubok na hinaharap ng ating bansa. Kailangan mong balansehin ang kapasidad ng ating hukbo sa pagtugon sa mga banta sa ating seguridad [Your new job is not easy. Our country faces tough challenges ahead. You need to balance the capacity of our force in responding to security threats),” Aquino said.
The President also ordered Taccad to implement the Navy’s Strategic Sail Plan 2020.
“I trust that you will show more resolve and will ensure the forward movement of Strategic Sail Plan 2020 of the Navy,” he said.
Aquino reaffirmed his commitment to modernize the navy, promising to procure three more landing craft heavy vessels for the Philippine Navy.