PUERTO PRINCESA — President Benigno Aquino III sees the upgrade and modernization of the Philippine Navy as one step towards tightening the country’s territorial security.
In his speech during his attendance in the 116th Anniversary of the Philippine Navy Open Grounds in Puerto Princesa City on Tuesday, the president presented the newly upgraded command center of the Philippine Forces West, a base which has been the launching pad of the Navy’s activities in the South China Sea a.k.a. the West Philippine Sea.
He proudly discussed the new center’s capabilities, which includes a weather- and media-monitoring, as well as an asset tracking system that would identify the movements of nearby ships within a 30-km range.
A down-link system and a satellite-based maritime surveillance system, which will fasten up navel responses during emergencies, were also added on the command unit’s amenities.
The president also discussed the video teleconferencing system, another upgrade which allows easier communication from the command center of the Naval Forces West to other headquarters and units of the Philippine Navy.
Base eyed for EDCA coverage
The Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) signed by the Philippines and the United States of America has also eyed for the base to be included in its coverage.
This means that as the Philippine Navy prepares to defend the West Philippine Sea and modernize its command post in the South China Sea, US’ help may come in handy in the process.
This is because the agreement, in exchange for Philippine military capability upgrades, will be allowing the increased rotational presence of US forces in the country.