On August 16, the United States government, through the Department of State Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), donated maritime tactical and first aid equipment valued at Php 3 million ($54,000) to the Philippine National Police Maritime Group (PNP-MG) to boost the Philippines’ maritime law enforcement capability.
PNP-MG Director Police Brigadier General Harold B. Tuzon accepted the equipment from INL Manila Director Kelia Cummins, together with INL Maritime Law Enforcement Advisor Mark Everson, during a ceremony at the PNP-MG Headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City.
“This donation is a tribute to the long-standing partnership between the PNP-MG and the United States, and will help in maintaining law and order, preventing crimes, and maintaining internal security,” PNP-MG Director Tuzon said.
The donation consists of binoculars, waterproof digital cameras, handheld VHF radios, and first aid kits—items identified by PNP-MG as common requirements for Regional Maritime Units and Special Operations Units to carry out more effective maritime domain monitoring and response through improved communications and trauma care.
“We are confident that these items will enhance the PNP-MG’s ability to operate more effectively and safely across the spectrum of maritime law enforcement activities,” Director Cummins said.
INL and other U.S. partners have maintained an enduring and mutually beneficial partnership with PNP-MG for many years.
U.S. support has helped establish PNP-MG’s Special Operations Units in Palawan and Tawi-Tawi, while specialized programs have enhanced capability in areas such as underwater crime scene investigations (UCSI) and illegal, unregulated, and unreported (IUU) fishing.
Additional donations to PNP-MG to support UCSI are expected later this year.