Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan on Tuesday, July 20, 2021 said that higher budget is needed to provide much-needed support for patrols in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) and to ensure the protection of fishermen and territorial waters.
This is after the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) BRB Cabra’s (MRRV-4409) successfully dispersed Chinese Navy Warship recently.
“We commend our brave PCG personnel for asserting our territory and rights within our exclusive economic zone. We thank them for their invaluable contributions in protecting our territorial waters including the livelihood of our fishermen. Pagkain, buhay at hanapbuhay ang nakataya,” Pangilinan said.
“Noting that the PCG’s budget for 2021 is lower than its 2020 budget, Pangilinan said that giving support to the PCG signifies deeper commitment to assert our claim over West Philippine Sea.” He added in a statement.
PCG’s P13.2 billion budget for 2021 is 13% lower than its 2020 budget of P15.22 billion.
“Biruin nyo, 80% ng ating territoryo ay mga katubigan ngunit kakarampot lamang ang budget upang protektahan ito. Pinagkakasya lang ng ating mga magigiting na Coast Guard. Supporting the Coast Guard means supporting our stand on the West Philippine Sea,” Pangilinan expressed.
The senator has earlier proposed the creation of a Department of Fisheries and Aquatic resources to better allocate resources for Philippine maritime assets. He also commits to supporting higher budget allocation for the PCG in the upcoming budget deliberations for 2022.
The PCG on Monday, July 19, confirmed that BRP Cabra challenged Chinese Navy Warship off Marie Louise Bank in the West Philippine Sea on July 13. It is located 147 nautical miles from El Nido, Palawan.