US Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) Michael Klecheski transferred custody of a brand new Joint Maritime Law Enforcement Training Center (JMLETC) valued at over P65.4 million to the Government of the Philippines in a ceremony in Magarwak, Barangay Santa Lourdes, Puerto Princesa City, on August 4.
Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Ronald De la Rosa was the guest of honor and keynote speaker, and DCM Klecheski also delivered remarks during the turnover.
The JMLETC, funded by the US Defense Threat Reduction Agency, is part of the larger National Coast Watch System and is designed to bolster the Philippines’ maritime domain awareness capabilities and to stop large-scale weapons from transiting through or near Philippine territorial waters. The facility will also be used to conduct maritime law enforcement training for the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), Navy (PN), and PNP to enhance vessel boarding, use of force, evidence preservation, and case package preparation techniques.
In the coming weeks, the US Coast Guard will send a team of maritime law enforcement experts who will conduct a one-week Maritime Law Enforcement workshop with PCG, PN, and PNP. This workshop will focus on sharing best practices and enhancing the interoperability among the three participating agencies in support of the National Coast Watch System 2017 Field Training Exercises scheduled to take place in Manila, Palawan, and Cebu in mid-September.
As strong allies, the US and Philippines share a wide range of interests, and we will continue to work in partnership to ensure our joint maritime security efforts and other lines of cooperation are robust and effective.