CAMP GEN SERVILLANO AQUINO, Tarlac City (DWDD) – A Maritime Forum was conducted by the Northern Luzon Command (NOLCOM) at Ricafort Tee Pavilion, Narciso Ramos Sports and Civic Center in Lingayen, Pangasinan on April 25, 2018, aimed at raising the level of awareness and to have a common understanding on Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) among different stakeholders in Northern Luzon.
The whole day activity started with the remarks of Commodore Nichols A Driz, Commander of Naval Forces – Northern Luzon (NF-NL), welcoming guests and participants for the event. Representatives from different stakeholders, local government units and agencies form part of the audience.
Resource speakers were invited to be the Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) for selected topics connected to maritime issues and concerns in Northern Luzon. Philippine Maritime Territory, Jurisdiction and Entitlements, as the first topic discussed, was delivered by Professor Jay F. Batongbacal being the Director of UP Institute for Maritime Affairs and Law of the Sea. This was followed by Dr. Nelson B. Bien, Director of BFAR Region 3, discussing the Impact of the Fishing Industry on the Philippine Economy.
The National (Archipelagic) Defense Strategy for Maritime Security will be discussed by a representative from the Office of Naval Strategic Studies, Mr. Gabriel Honrada, the Chief, Defense Analyst. Moreover, two (2) participating audiences acted as reactors to give their respective views and insights on every topic discussed.
Comprising the Northern Maritime Area, the biggest in the country, are the West Philippine Sea, where Bajo de Masinloc (Panatag Shoal) is located, the Luzon Strait in Batanes province, and the Philippine Rise located east of Casiguran, Aurora.
NOLCOM spearheaded the event to provide the audience, particularly those from the coastal municipalities, the rightful information and eventually educating and capacitating them to contribute to the overall effort of securing the Northern Maritime Frontier.
Lt Gen Emmanuel B Salamat, Commander of NOLCOM, was impressed of the active concern and constructive reactions emanating from the audience. He also stressed that collaboration and integration of efforts among stakeholders are paramount to achieve the desired common objectives and goals. NOLCOM will remain as a partner for nation-building and will actively do its mandate of protecting the people and securing our sovereign territory, including those areas where we are entitled of sovereign rights and jurisdiction. NOLCOM / MCAG