Brig. Gen. Erick Escarcha (first from left) with the winners of the West Philippine Sea FB Reels contest, organizers, and other stakeholders.

Tactical Operations Wing West (TOW West) Commander Brigadier General Erick Escarcha led the awarding ceremony of the West Philippine Sea Facebook Video Reels Contest on Sunday at the SM City Puerto Princesa.

The organizers of the event held a contest on Facebook Video Reels to highlight the significance of the West Philippine Sea and increase public awareness of the issue of Philippine sovereignty.

The competition highlighted the economic, food security, livelihood, energy, tourism, environmental preservation, and protection of marine biodiversity and natural resources, as well as cultural and geopolitical aspects, which Escarcha said “inspired a collective commitment to safeguarding WPS for the benefit of present and future generations.”

Escarcha challenged the public to strengthen their advocacy on the West Philippine Sea issue.

“The West Philippine Sea is not just a body of water; it is a symbol of sovereignty, a testament to our resilience, and a source of pride for every Filipino. It is a part of our heritage and our identity. WPS belongs to us. It is our birthright, our inheritance, and our responsibility to protect and defend,” he said.

“West Philippine Sea Atin Ito. This is not just a slogan. It is a testament to ownership, defiance, and hope for a brighter future for our nation and generations to come. Let us march forward with courage, unity, and determination, knowing that WPS is ours to protect, cherish, and defend,” he added.

Governor Dennis Socrates and Atty. Lara Mae Cacal reaffirmed the provincial government’s commitment to support campaigns and advocacies for WPS as she acknowledged participants in the contest.

“It is through initiatives like these that we foster a deeper understanding and appreciation for our marine heritage while inspiring a collective commitment to its preservation for the welfare of present and future generations,” Cacal said.

“Let us reflect on the lessons we have learned today and consider how each one of us can contribute to the collective effort of safeguarding WPS, whether through advocacy, policy engagement, or individual actions. Let us rise to the challenge, standing guided in our commitment to protecting this invaluable natural heritage,” she added.

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