MANILA - Philippine and US officials officially launched a patrol boat facility for the Philippine National Police in Lantawan town, Basilan on Friday.
In a statement, the US Embassy in Manila said the nearly P100-million worth facility includes a boat ramp, pier, armory, offices, barracks, and a laboratory.
Representatives from the US Joint Interagency Task Force West (JIATF West), the US Indo-Pacific Command’s counternarcotics task force in the Indo-Pacific region, and officials from the Philippine National Police Maritime Group (PNP-MG) came together for the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
The embassy said JIATF West has partnered with the PNP-MG to open several such facilities in the southern Philippines.
JIATF West Deputy Director Earl Hampton said the facility will improve the PNP-MG’s ability to conduct counternarcotics patrols and thwart the activity of transnational criminal organizations in the southwest Mindanao archipelago and Sulu Sea.
The Basilan facility, along with the PNP-MG boat facilities built at Honda Bay, Balabac, Tawi-Tawi, and Taganac, will improve the operations of concerned authorities in the southern Philippines, the US Embassy said.
“The United States has been steadfast in its commitment to assisting the Philippines in enhancing its ability to confront maritime criminal activity,” said Police Brig. Gen. R’win Pagkalinawan, PNP-MG director.