Maritime Security Escort Urged for Celebes Sea Vessels
Maritime Security Escort Urged for Celebes Sea Vessels. LIPATA PORT, Surigao City—The business community in Mindanao plans to petition Malacañang to make the Navy and the Coast Guard to make escorting cargo vessels and cargo on roll-on, roll-off (Roro) trips a regular or routine service in the Celebes Sea.
Several business leaders from the Davao and Caraga regions wanted to ask President Duterte for a regular Maritime Security escort along the route, after he and Indonesian President Joko Widodo launched on April 30 the Roro cargo shipping plying the Mindanao cities of Davao and General Santos and crossing the Celebes Sea to connect them with Bitung, an international gateway of Indonesia on the northern Sulawesi region.
The leaders were unable to talk with the President but told reporters the unsolved sea piracy engaged by the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) is taking place to the west of the route in the Sulu Sea. The ASG recently climbed a Korean commercial ship early this year and kidnapped the Korean captain and his Filipino aide. They were released later.
Two Navy and one Maritime Security Coast Guard ship escorted the cargo ship that launched the route on Sunday. Trade and Industry Assistant Secretary Arturo Boncato Jr. said the shipping owner agreed to mount at least five runs for its maiden voyage to determine how the market responds.
One Aboitiz food subsidiary, the Pilmico Foods Corp., shipped five twenty-footer container vans on that inaugural voyage and intimated to Boncato it would continue shipping flour and animal feeds at bigger volumes, “probably at 120 container vans per run”.
Duterte and Widodo earlier saw the possibility of the sea pirates pouncing on the Roro ships with their fast craft usually outdistancing the Navy vessels.
Duterte also announced in previous press briefings that Philippine Navy and maritime craft would regularly provide naval security on the route.
No incident has been reported so far, after the inaugural launch from the Mindanao side going to Bitung.
To view the original article click HERE
Maritime Security from Associated Risks