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NCWS agencies get Maritime Domain, WMD briefing

MANILA, Sept. 28 – Member agencies of the Philippine' National Coast Watch System (NCWS) were given a series of senior executive seminars on Maritime Domain and Weapons of Mass Destruction Awareness seminar by the US Department of Defense's Defense Threat Reduction Agency late this week.

The US Embassy in Manila, in a statement, stressed this demonstrates the continued partnership between the United States and the Philippines to enhance maritime safety and security.

During the week, discussions centered on how to build on and improve interagency collaboration in the Philippines to enhance maritime domain awareness, strengthen maritime law enforcement, and improve the Philippines’ WMD proliferation prevention capabilities.

It also initiated the establishment of a "roadmap" for the further development of the NCWS.

The NCWS, established in September 2011 by President Benigno S. Aquino III through Executive Order 57, aims at enhancing inter-agency coordination and providing a unified approach on maritime issues and maritime domain awareness.

The Philippine Departments of Transportation and Communications, National Defense, Foreign Affairs, Interior and Local Government, Justice, Energy, Finance, Environment and Natural Resources, and Agriculture are members of the National Coast Watch Council, and the Executive Secretary serves as its chairperson.

The seminar was opened by U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Harry K. Thomas, Jr., and Executive Secretary of the Philippines, Paquito N. Ochoa, Jr.

Both noted that US support for the NCWS was highlighted during President Aquino’s meeting with President Barack Obama in the White House last June 8. (PNA)

RMA/PFN

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