Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Commandant, Admiral George V Ursabia Jr has renewed chairmanship of the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery (ReCAAP) Information Sharing Centre (ISC).  He was re-elected by the Governing Council during the 15th Governing Council meeting of ReCAAP ISC held via virtual modality last 16-17 March 2021 due to travel restrictions and as a precautionary measure amid the COVID-19 pandemic.  VADM LEOPOLDO V LAROYA PCG, the Deputy Commandant for Operations acted as the Philippine Governor’s representative during the meeting.

Admiral Ursabia serves as the Governor of the Philippines and the Chairperson of the Governing Council since the 14th Governing Council and was reelected for another term of three years.  The Governor of Bangladesh, Additional Secretary Laila Jesmin of the Ministry of Shipping has been elected as the Vice-Chairperson. Both will serve the three-year term beginning 01 April 2021.

Chief Executive Quah Ley Hoon of the Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) of Singapore, congratulated the Governor of the Philippines and the Governor of Bangladesh and assured them of their full support as they continue the works of ReCAAP ISC Governing Council, specifically in enhancing regional cooperation through information sharing and capacity building.

During the virtual meeting, the Contracting Parties recognized the achievements of ReCAAP in the past 15 years and reaffirmed their commitment to sustain its initiatives as a global model for inter-governmental cooperation against piracy and sea robbery in Asia.

Moreover, International Maritime Organization (IMO) Secretary-General Kitack Lim encouraged ReCAAP to share their experiences to other regions – demonstrating what effective regional collaboration can achieve to address emerging security threats.

As the host of the 15th Anniversary Symposium held last 18 March 2021, the Singapore concluded the activity by urging its fellow Contracting Parties to forge new areas of collaboration to enhance ReCAAP’s role as a key node in the international maritime community.

ReCAAP is a government-to-government agreement to further enhance multilateral cooperation on regional maritime security by addressing incidences of piracy and armed robbery in Asia.

The Agreement entered into force on September 4, 2006 and it started with 14 Asian countries as Contracting Parties. The ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre was established, under the Agreement, on November 29, 2006. To date, 20 States (14 Asian countries, 4 European countries, Australia, the USA) have become Contracting Parties to ReCAAP.