Ambassador Philip S. Goldberg, cut the ribbon inaugurating the National Coast
Watch Center in an action that underscores the U.S. commitment to helping the
Philippines manage and secure its maritime domain.
The U.S. has provided $20 million (880 million Philippine Pesos) to date
for the center that provides critical information fusion and 24 hour operations
to support enhanced awareness of the Philippines’ maritime domain. Future
incremental improvements are planned to fully realize the potential of the
The Ambassador was joined by Deputy Secretary of Defense for Combating
Weapons of Mass Destruction Jay Finch, and Defense Threat Reduction Agency
Director Kenneth Myers joined Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr., DOTC
Secretary Abaya and AFP Chief of Staff Catapang, Admiral Jose Luis Alano,
Philippine Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Rudolfo Isorena and other Philippines
Coast Guard, defense and security officials at Coast Guard headquarters.
The National Coast Watch Center is a multi-year partnership funded by the
Defense Threat Reduction Agency as part of the WMD Proliferation Prevention
Program’s Maritime Security project. The project, when complete, will tie
together more than a dozen stations and sensors, as well as ships of the Coast
Guard, to provide a more comprehensive picture of ships and vessels operating in
or near Philippine waters.
Maritime domain awareness is crucial for the Philippines as it increases
its abilities to thwart smuggling, illegal fishing, other criminal activities as
well as improving defense capacity.