PH to get $17M US aid to fight terrorists, guard seas
MANILA - The Philippines will be receiving over $17.68 million in assistance from the United States (US) to help enhance its law enforcement and maritime law enforcement capabilities.
Philippine Ambassador Jose Cuisia Jr. said the funds will be used primarily to support the Global Security Contingency Fund Program (GSFP) to prepare the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) for combating terrorism and maintaining internal peace and security in the lands and waters of the southern part of the country.
Cuisia said the funds will also be used to support the Southeast Asia Maritime Initiative project for the further development of the operational and institutional capabilities of the PCG and PNP Maritime Group.
The assistance, which is provided under Amendment 3 to the 2011 Letter of Agreement on Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement, will also cover funding for the Law Enforcement Support Project as well as the Southeast Asia Regional Maritime Law Enforcement Development Project.
The Law Enforcement Support Project aims to develop and institutionalize professional skills training within the police force and other law enforcement agencies while the Southeast Asia Regional Maritime Law Enforcement Development Project seeks to strengthen regional coordination and law enforcement activities concerning maritime issues.
"With better enforcement and better ability of the Philippines to police its reefs, islands and other claims, the Agreement will be beneficial to the rest of the world," Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement William Brownfield said.
According to Cuisia, the agreement will also cover funding to help the Philippines strengthen its capacity to address extrajudicial killings and other human rights cases.
The Justice Sector Reform Project, which seeks to strengthen the criminal justice system, and the Investigating, Prosecuting, and Preventing Extrajudicial Killings Project will also be covered by the agreement.
Cuisia noted that cooperation between the Philippines and the US has expanded in the past decade to include combating trafficking in persons, child sex tourism and alleged extrajudicial killings.
"Both our countries perceive these challenges as common threats and we welcome the opportunity to work with the US Government to eliminate these threats that scourge our people," he said.