The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) successfully established Command Observation Posts (COPs) on Likas Island, Lawak Island, and Parola Island on 17 May 2022.
According to PCG Commandant, CG Admiral Artemio M Abu, these COPs expand the maritime domain awareness of the PCG in the West Philippine Sea (WPS).
"Through these COPs, we improve our capabilities in promoting maritime safety, maritime search and rescue, and marine environmental protection," CG Admiral Abu added.
Moreover, the PCG's Task Force Kaligtasan sa Karagatan constructed a smart house and installed radio communications on the said islands during the deployment of the largest Coast Guard contingent in the WPS.
"The activation of these COPs complies with President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Art Tugade's guidance to support the country's maritime transportation and shipping industry by promoting maritime safety and maritime security," the Coast Guard Commandant furthered.
"These COPs will optimize the strategic deployment of PCG assets by monitoring the movement of merchant ships in its surrounding waters and communicating maritime incidents to the PCG National Headquarters," CG Admiral Abu noted.
The National Task Force for the West Philippine Sea (NTF-WPS) and National Security Council Adviser, Secretary Hermogenes Esperon, also supported the said initiative. He said this would guide domestic and international ships passing the country's waters through safe and secure sea lines of communications.