BRP Teresa Magbanua, the Philippine Coast Guard’s (PCG) newest fleet vessel, will be patrolling the West Philippine Sea (WPS) once it returns from participation in the Regional Marine Pollution Exercise (Marpolex) 2022 in Indonesia.

Rear Adm. Bobby Patrimonio, commander of the PCG’s Marine Environmental Protection Command, the vessel will be deployed for “sovereign patrol” and will enhance maritime border security.

“[Si PCG] Admiral Artemio Abu ay nagbigay ng directives sa ating mga barko na magpatrolya ulit sa WPS, sa Benham Rise,” Patrimonio said in a Laging Handa program on May 18.

He said BRP Teresa Magbanua, the lead ship of the Teresa Magbanua-class patrol vessels in the PCG fleet, will be prepared to carry commodities and people in the case of a marine crisis or any other catastrophe.

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BRP Teresa Magbanua and a number of other PCG vessels are currently en route to Makassar, Indonesia to participate in the Marpolex 2022, which will be held from May 22 to May 29. They will be joined in the event by Indonesia’s Directorate General of Sea Transportation (DGST) and the Japan Coast Guard (JCG).

“Ang kahalagahan nito ay ang mapagtibay at paghandain iyong tauhan natin at saka iyong mga tauhan ng Indonesia in case of any transboundary oil spill,” Patrimonio added.

He noted that both Indonesia and Japan helped the Philippines when MT Solar 1 sank off the coast of Guimaras in August 2006 and caused one of the worst oil spills in the country’s history.

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