On March 25, the United States government, through the Department of State Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) and the Global Security Contingency Fund, commemorated the delivery and installation of outboard motors worth Php31.5 million ($630,000) to support Philippine maritime law enforcement operations.
U.S. Embassy in the Philippines Chargé d’Affaires (CDA) ad interim Heather Variava led the ceremonial turnover of the motors that were delivered and installed on six Philippine National Police-Maritime Group (PNP-MG) patrol boats belonging to its Special Operations Units in Honda Bay in Palawan and Bongao, Tawi Tawi.
In total, 18 motors were donated, of which 12 were used to restore the six boats back to operational status while six are spare engines. Four of these engines were installed on two boats operated by the 2nd Special Operations Unit in Honda Bay.
This event capped CDA Variava’s two-day visit to Puerto Princesa, where she met with provincial and city government officials along with partners in the security and environmental sectors.
“The U.S. government is committed to supporting the 2nd Special Operations Unit as well as our other partners in Palawan who share our interest to enhance security, economic prosperity, and environmental conservation in this amazing province,” said CDA Variava.
INL, along with the U.S. Department of Defense, have been close partners with the PNP-MG for over a decade and collaborated on the creation of the Special Operations Units though facility, equipment, and training support programs. This partnership remains an enduring success that serves as a model for future initiatives.
During her trip to Puerto Princesa, CDA Variava visited the headquarters of both the Western Command and Coast Guard District Palawan to discuss operational priorities and opportunities for cooperation related to the diverse and challenging missions of these organizations. She also led donation ceremonies for the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD) and the Clean Cities, Blue Oceans (CCBO) project.
INL supports PCSD though environmental justice programs, which include the handover of Php825,000 ($16,500) in rescue and storage equipment on March 25. The United States Agency for International Development sponsors CCBO, a five-year initiative to address the global ocean plastic challenge. On March 24, CDA Variava led the turnover of eight waste collection vehicles worth Php500,000 ($10,000) to Puerto Princesa’s Eco Warriors who will utilize the equipment.